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Is It OK to Drive While Barefoot in New York?


Is It OK to Drive While Barefoot in New York?

There are some people in the world who just don’t enjoy wearing shoes very much. If you’re one of them then you might be happy to know there is no specific law in New York that prevents you from driving while barefoot.

Yet is it a good idea? Can it cause problems later? 

Is it Safe to Drive Barefoot?

Many people say it absolutely isn’t. Brake pedals are designed, in part, to work with the friction caused by the tread on the bottom of your shoes. Bare feet can slip off off them, causing you to lose control. 

It’s also possible for driving barefoot to cause foot pain, which can cause spasms. Those spasms could cause you to lose control of the vehicle at a vital moment. 

Is it Safe to Drive While Wearing Flip Flops?

Pedal errors cause over 16,000 preventable accidents this year. Flip flops are a common cause. They slip off the feet and occasionally get caught behind the pedals, because, like bare feet, they have insufficient tread on the soles. The same goes for high heels, which are not designed well for driving.  

Again, there’s no law against them, but there may not be a good reason to wear them, either.

Instead, good, sturdy, breathable slip on shoes with good soles might be a good solution, one that leaves your feet comfortable without leaving you open to accidents. 

Can You Get a Ticket Anyway? 


A police officer is unlikely to pull you over for barefoot driving. Yet if you get into an accident that officer has to assess the causes of that accident. If the officer decided your bare feet or improper footwear caused the collision then you could receive a ticket for reckless driving or “other moving violations.” 

Reckless driving has no set definition. The criteria for a reckless driving charge is whether you are “unreasonably endangering” other drivers.

Remember, your first responsibility, when you get behind the wheel of the car, is to do whatever you can do to prevent accidents. This can include choosing footwear which keeps you from causing them. 

In addition, your lack of proper footwear could complicate personal injury claims related to your accident by providing a source of liability.

Of course, if you get a ticket while driving barefoot or with improper footwear the lack of laws on this front can provide your traffic ticket defense lawyer with a ready source of arguments to use against ticketing you. 

See also:

Can I Get a Ticket for Getting Into a Car Accident?

What is Reckless Driving in New York?

When Can an NY Traffic Court Suspend Your Drivers License? 


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