A sure footing for safe driving!
If you have to drive, here's the advice.
The designer Christian Dior once said, "You can never take too much care over the choice of your shoes." And as true as this may be for the fashion-conscious among us, it's doubly so for drivers.
The AA conducted a survey in 2010* where 27% of people who responded said that their choice of shoes led to difficulty while driving, and a further 5% went on to say that their footwear caused them to drive dangerously, lose control or have an accident.
The kind of driving shoe you wear really does matter, as it plays a big part in driving safely by affecting the pressure and grip on the pedals, and the ability to judge braking and acceleration.
- The UK has no specific law that states what you should wear on your feet whilst driving
- The 1988 Road Traffic Act says that ‘You’re guilty of an offence if you’re in a position which doesn’t give proper control or a full view of the road and the traffic ahead ‘
- The Highway Code Rule 97 simply says 'You should ensure that clothing and footwear do not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner.'
Most drivers will agree that there are lots of different things that must be considered to stay safe on the road, but something that often gets forgotten is footwear.
So, what exactly is suitable footwear for driving?
- The perfect driving shoe has a little grip to avoid slipping
- Soles and heels are key – not only will they help keep the driver and passengers safe, but they will also help drive with greater car sympathy
- Basic flat shoes or trainers are ideal for driving and it’s a good idea to keep a spare pair in your car to change into before setting off
- High heels and platforms are a bad idea as both pedals are used with the driver’s heel resting on the floor to achieve the correct pedal action. When the heel is elevated it can seriously affect the operation of the pedals and reaction times
- Sandals and flip flops are responsible for 1.4 million driving near misses or accidents each year and can slow braking times by 0.13 seconds! **. They can easily get jammed under the pedals or come off so are one of the worst choices of driving footwear and should be avoided all costs
- Going barefoot or just in socks is also not a good idea as pedals may not be sufficiently gripped and feet may become slippery due to perspiration. Plus, in the event of an accident feet and toes will not be protected
Wearing the right shoes can help you feel relaxed on the road, boost your reaction times, improve your control over the car and help you drive smoothly and safely.
To find out more about DriveTech's range of driver risk management and driver training services click here
*AA Populus Driver Poll 2010.
**Daily Mail August 2013.