Adding car accessories can be fun and functional. And there are plenty of options to spruce up your ride. But what you wear when driving can actually affect car safety. Here’s a look at the shoes you should avoid if you want to be on the safe side of driving.
The shoes you wear while driving can affect your safety
The type of shoes you wear can significantly affect your driving safety. This largely has to do with the car’s pedals and how some shoes are not a good fit when operating those pedals. Certain shoes, Geico says, can lead to pedal error, which is when your foot either slips off the pedal or pushes the wrong pedal. Unsurprisingly, either of those scenarios can lead to a crash.
In fact, about 16,000 car crashes result from pedal error, Geico reports. Shoes are not the only cause of pedal errors, but they can be a contributor. In any case, the best solution is to keep a pair of sneakers in your car. Sneakers are great for minimizing pedal errors.
Fashion isn’t always practical
However, not all sneakers are necessarily the best option. Brand-new shoes with leather or wood soles are also not very safe. This is because these types of shoes can be slippery, which might cause pedal errors.
Other fashion choices that can make driving unsafe are high heels and wedges. These types of shoes are unsafe for different reasons. High heels can fatigue your feet and interfere with your ability to quickly and effectively use the brakes. And wedges can mess with your perception of how much pressure you’re applying to the brake and gas pedals.
Flip-flops, mules, and house shoes like slippers also pose issues. Though comfortable or fashionable, they’re ultimately unsafe to wear while driving. This is because these types of shoes fit loose, meaning they can easily slip off your feet or, once again, interfere with how effectively you use the pedals.
Driving in boots or bare feet, too, is a bad idea
On top of that, boots, whether they’re the work or cowboy variety, are also a bad idea for driving. When you’re wearing large work boots, it’s more difficult for your feet to feel the pedals. Cowboy boots pose a problem similar to wedges and high heels. That’s because cowboy boots’ raised heels might interfere with the pedals.
Last but not least, driving barefoot is also a bad idea. There are multiple reasons. First, without shoes, your feet might not apply pressure evenly to the pedals, causing errors. Second, without shoes, it’s possible that you don’t apply enough pressure to the pedals when the car’s antilock braking system (ABS) kicks in.
Finally, without shoes, your feet directly touch the pedal. So, if your skin gets sweaty, your foot could slip off the pedals. Sweaty bare feet can lead to worse reaction times and worse grip, which are both unsafe.