It can be tempting to drive barefoot, especially if you’re heading to or from the beach or pool, or if you’ve been wearing uncomfortable shoes all day and are anxious to take them off. Taking the time to wear shoes just to drive may seem like a nuisance if you’ve been relaxing at the beach or if you’re in a hurry.
What kind of laws are there in California regarding wearing shoes while driving? Is it against the law to drive barefoot in this state?
What you should keep in mind is that whenever you get behind the wheel of a car, you’re responsible for driving as safely as you can and not jeopardizing the safety of others in any way. You know this means you can’t text while driving or drink and drive. Could you get into legal trouble if there’s an accident and you are barefoot?
Laws That Pertain to Driving Barefoot
There are no state laws that specifically prohibit driving barefoot in California. There are also no federal laws that make driving barefoot illegal. Every driver has the right to decide for himself or herself whether to take the time to put on shoes before getting behind the wheel of a car.
The fact that there are no laws specific to barefoot driving doesn’t mean that driving without shoes would never be considered a factor in an accident. Any time you cause an accident, everything that may have contributed to the accident in any way will be considered.
It’s possible that driving without shoes may contribute to reckless driving or negligence, particularly if your foot is wet from swimming and slips off the brake pedal. Another way that barefoot driving could cause an accident is if you slip your shoes off while driving and they get wedged under the brake pedal or the accelerator.
Are There Laws That Pertain to Shoes?
Besides not wearing shoes at all, certain shoes may also contribute to losing control of a vehicle. A driver that is distracted by their shoes or lack of shoes and causes a wreck may be found guilty of negligent or reckless driving. Examples of ways that footwear can contribute to negligent driving include:
- Flip flops can get caught between or underneath pedals
- Shoes with slick soles can slip on brake or gas pedals
- Inflexible shoes such as high heels can restrict the movement of the foot
- Uncomfortable shoes can distract the driver
- The wrong shoes can reduce your braking time or affect the range of motion of the foot
All drivers owe a duty of care to other drivers. This means that whenever you get behind the wheel of a vehicle, you will drive responsibly and do anything in your power to try to avoid causing an accident. Every decision you make that affects your driving also may affect other drivers or pedestrians, and that includes the decision you make about whether to drive barefoot or what footwear you choose to wear while driving.
Accidents Caused by Negligence or Recklessness
Many people are injured in accidents caused by negligent or reckless drivers. If you or someone you love has been injured in a wreck that you believe was caused by someone else’s negligence, talk to an expert in the field of personal injury law.
At Kuvara Law Firm, we have more than 40 years’ experience and have obtained compensation for many victims of negligent drivers here in California. Get in touch with us by filling out the form on this page to set up a free consultation and to have your questions answered.