Driving is an important, often necessary, and common skill. However, it also carries with it tangible risks. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, over 3,500 people died in motor vehicle accidents in 2021.
While complete elimination of the danger is not possible, there are ways to mitigate it. One safety precaution many individuals fail to take is picking the right shoes.
The right shoes
None of the states have regulations explicitly stating individuals must wear a certain type of shoe while driving. However, sensible, close-toed shoes like sneakers or flat boots provide the most security.
The not-right shoes
Certain kinds of shoes increase the chance of drivers becoming involved in an accident by reducing their braking ability. Flip-flops, sandals and high heels negatively affect motor operators’ ability to apply maximum force to the brake. It also slows them down when a split second can mean the difference between plowing into another vehicle or not. The front of these shoes can become caught between your foot and the pedal or break and the heel in the floor mat, causing further delays and a distraction.
When choosing what shoes to wear for an outing, think about whether or not they are safe to drive in. Besides type, there are other considerations. Do they fit comfortably? Uncomfortable shoes are also a distraction that wearing well-fitting and broken-in ones can get rid of. Do they come off easily? If they are prone to slide off your feet randomly, they may not be safe to drive in.
Driving safety is not generally where most people’s minds go when deciding what shoes to don. However, remembering it can help drivers avoid shoe-related accidents.