Summer is upon us, and that means visits to the beach, outings to the park, and plenty of other trips to places that don’t require shoes. But how soon are you allowed to go barefoot. By that, I mean: can you legally drive barefoot? Is shoelessly putting the pedal to the metal illegal?
The answer, on the whole, is fairly simple: in most cases & in most states, the answer is no. You can’t be fined as a driver for letting your toes air out while operating a vehicle. But, just because you CAN doesn’t always mean you SHOULD.
A lot of states actually do have laws on the books that can cloud your decision to kick off your Keds in the car, namely in the event that you were to get into an accident. For instance, in Alabama, Arizona, California, and several other states, authorities could legally decide that you driving barefoot likely played a part in a crash, and that could result in a reckless driving charge. There are also some states, like Ohio, that don’t actively prohibit barefoot driving, though they do overtly discourage you from doing it.
The best idea is just to drive wearing shoes that have adequate grips on the bottom, since bare feet can potentially slip off the pedals. Sandals, flip-flops, heels, and shoes with loose laces are also potentially dangerous, since ill-fitting shoes are more likely to slip off. As a matter of fact, some experts say it might actually be safer to go without shoes than to drive in any of those.
Check your local laws to be sure, since a city mandate might differ from a state policy. But, for the most part, unless you’re operating motorcycle, you’re good to go if you decide to drive with naked feet. But, if you notice your passenger making a funny face, it might be a good idea to do them a favor & put your shoes back on.
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