Fairly recently I watched a TV program on urban legends and they interviewed a transportation official and a cop and there’s no law in any state that make driving barefoot illegal. They said that it might not be prudent - ease of using the pedal, weather, some thing unforeseen - but not illegal.
I kick off my shoes every day and drive in my socks.
After I pick up the boys from school, which requires walking, I kick off the shoes to give my dogs a break for a half hour while I wait for the daughter.
I see no issues with utility there.
Now flip-flops are another thing with their edges getting caught and not having full touch of the pedal. you’d be safer kicking off the flip-flops to drive bare foot.
The biggest risk I see with barefoot driving is: having loose shoes interfere with the brake pedal. If you slip your shoes off, expecting to slip them back on later, it’s natural to kick them back under the seat a bit. Problem is, if they get kicked around or moved by motion, there’s a risk a shoe might slip behind the brake pedal. Then when you try to step on the brake, it won’t go down, due to shoe.
But there’s an easy solution: kick your shoes off into the passages side for storage.
(Plus another good reason to remove cans, etc. from under the driver’s seat.)
I drive barefoot when I’ve been driving a while and it seems like road hypnosis is setting in. It seems to keep me more aware, because I’m more connected to the car, as my foot feels sensations it doesn’t when encased in a shoe.
A retired police officer/friend told me that DWBF is definitely not on the books as being illegal. It is not prudent to do so as one would not be able to depress the brake pedal as hard bare footed in a panic stop situation. I’ve tried it. I think it’s true.
In one instance, another friend of mine was driving home after a long day’s work where he had to wear heavy boots. He always took them off. He spent four weeks in the hospital after his accident, and still has trouble from his broken ankle four years afterwards. He sent me to get his stuff out of the truck after it was towed to the impound yard. The driver’s front wheel well was pushed back into the cab where his feet should have been. The pedals were about a foot from the seat. In looking at the truck, I was surprised that he was in the hospital and not the morgue. Five feet less distance in stopping would have made a big difference.
I talked to my cousin (State Policeman) and he said the only barefoot driving that is illegal had to do with motorcycles. Some states make it illegal but most do not.
Don’t speculate, research.
I take my shoes off sometimes on long highway trips. Helps to fight drowsiness.
I can still easily press the brake pedal hard enough to lock up the wheels.
When I am wearing sandals, I think nothing of popping them off and driving barefoot. If I’m wearing shoes with no socks, I’ll kick off my shoes and drive. It’s really not a big deal if you’re driving a passenger car or a light truck.
However, if you are driving a commercial vehicle, like a school bus or a semi, I think wearing the proper footwear should be a matter of professional pride and safety. Operating a clutch and the brakes on a semi isn’t like operating them on a car, and I’d have to insist, whether it’s illegal or legal, that professional truck and bus drivers wear sturdy footwear of some kind, whether it be comfortable shoes or work boots.
3doorsuburban…using 1994 data is not research in my book. It’s speculation with nearly 20 year old data.
I laughed listening to the guys talking about how much easier it is to drive with shoes on than to drive barefoot. Dudes, your Y Chromosomes are showing. Imagine driving in heels. Barefoot is more comfortable and safer than driving in heels. Thank goodness barefoot driving is legal in California.
I can’t for the life of me find MY ENGINE’S ON FIRE to comment on, so I’ll put it here. I’m an old lady (63-ish) and have come across 4 different occasions where an engine was on fire. The first one involved a Porsche, (he left a rag in the engine compartment) and we all watched helplessly as the whole thing melted. That’s when some one ran up and yelled out these three simple words, “Close the hood!” The flames are suffocated immediately, but the damage had already been done. On 3 occasions since then I was the one saving the day with those words. I’m surprised you didn’t mention this approach.
i guess i’m the only one here who thinks driving barefoot is gross. i would hate to see the backs of the feet of those who drive barefoot. ick.
Sharon, I bow to your point.
Proper hygiene goes a long way
I can’t imagine it being any worse hygenically than walking barefoot on the boardwalk. Or the bathhouse. DEFINITELY the bathhouse!!!
@whitey, there’s nothing that “undoes” good hygiene than driving barefoot, in my opinion.