Some outfits just aren’t complete without the perfect pair of heels. Sure, it makes you look like you’ve got legs for days and it adds a centimetre or three to your height, but is it safe for driving?
The Automobile Association (AA) says “No matter how glamorous, driving in heels is possibly the worst choice for driving”. You use your feet and ankles to accelerate, brake and to release the clutch. Heels makes movement more difficult and gives you less control over the pedals. It’s easy for your foot to slip off the brake when it’s in the company of a sexy stiletto. Your heel can also get caught in the floor mat or get stuck under the pedal.
How do you choose the best footwear for safe driving?
It’s all about the soles of your shoes. Driving with thick soles is a recipe for disaster. Thick soles prevent feet from feeling the pedals and judging the correct amount of pressure to apply. Wearing wide soles while driving can also be a car crash waiting to happen, as it increases the potential of accidently pressing two petals instead of one.
The AA recommends that you drive with boots/ shoes or sandals with thinner and narrower soles. Hmm, looks like most boots weren’t only made for walking after all…They’re also for driving!
What about driving barefoot?
Turns out it’s not safe to drive with your socks or naked feet. Not because of strange odours or the possibility of athlete’s foot, but for serious safety reasons. Your barefoot can become slippery on the pedals and your feet might start to cramp.
Other risks by associated with driving barefoot according to Arrive Alive:
- In cases of accidents you might hurt your feet or step in broken glass.
- Nylon socks or tights can reduce traction between your foot and the pedals and don’t allow the foot to grip pedals.
- It is a relatively small pedal exerting a lot of pressure on the ball of the foot, whereas, the sole of a shoe distributes that pressure more evenly.
Apart from the appropriate footwear when driving, there are some additional suggestions to consider:
- Ladies, your heels look fabulous! Just be cautions when driving with your sexy stilettos and keep a separate pair of comfy slip on shoes in your roadster.
- Don’t leave the extra pair of shoes behind your feet where they can slide forward and obstruct the brake or clutch.
- Be extra cautious when it’s rainy and muddy outside. Slippery soles can put brakes on your control.
- Keep a tiny towel under your seat to dry your shoes off when you’ve walked in puddles or wet ground.
- Don’t wear flipflops while driving. They slip of too easily and can get jammed under your pedals. According to the Daily Mail, studies have shown that flip flops are responsible for approximately 1.4 million near misses or accidents each year and can slow braking times by 0.13 seconds. Leave the Jerusalem cruisers at home bro.
- Wear shoes that are light in weight with comfy built in cushions to hug your feet during long hours of driving.
Although it’s not against the law to drive with heels, without shoes or with flipflops, it’s important to be a responsible driver. Don’t put your passengers (and yourself) at risk. Looking glamorous behind the wheel is not worth the consequences of major injuries and endless drama with your 4-wheel baby’s damaged booty.
Be safe, not sorry!