Is it Illegal to Drive Barefoot in California?
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Many Californians believe that if you drive barefoot you are committing an offense. In fact, they are under the misapprehension that it is illegal when in truth, there are no federal or even state laws that prohibit you from driving a car without shoes on your feet.
Living in California, it is quite normal to go to the beach after a long week at the office, have some fun, and get sand everywhere. When you get back to your car, the last thing you can be bothered doing, is getting rid of all the sand and putting your shoes back on, so you decide to drive home without any shoes on. For some business people, having to wear dress shoes or in the case of women, high heels all day, can take a toll on their feet and make them want to kick off their shoes and drive barefoot.
Fortunately, for these drivers, they are not committing an offense, and if they did happen to get pulled over by a law enforcement officer who noticed their bare feet, there is no citation that can be issued.
While there are no laws in force to prevent you from driving barefoot, the fact that you can doesn’t mean you should. So, is it safe to be driving barefoot? There are risks involved if you drive barefoot.
A few of the risks that can be involved while driving barefoot include:
• The soles of your shoes give a certain degree of uniform pressure, whereas your foot does not. Driving without shoes on may mean that over a period of time, you could experience some pain on the soles of your feet due to the unbalanced pressure put on them.
• If the car you are driving does not have automatic transmission, then depressing the clutch pedal needs a bit of force to be applied, and without footwear, this may prove difficult. Most drivers agree that wearing shoes makes the process a lot easier and gives them greater strength.
• The most significant risk you take when you are not wearing shoes, is that your foot has the potential to slip off the pedal with devastating consequences. Bare feet don’t have the same available force when it comes to braking and in an emergency, every second counts.
In recent studies, it was shown that approximately 1.4 million vehicle accidents happened when the driver’s sandals prevented them from depressing the brake, clutch or gas pedals.
Under normal conditions, a driver can react to any situation within roughly 0.2 seconds, but research has shown that a driver wearing flip-flops takes twice that amount of time, and around ten percent of those drivers questioned confessed that their flip-flops have slipped off and become trapped under the pedals more than once.
Other types of footwear that may be inappropriate for safe driving include:
• Multi-strapped sandals.
• Platform shoes.
• Stiletto heeled shoes.
• Knee-high or ankle-high boots.
• Shoes with smooth soles.
Some drivers take their shoes off when stopped at a light or stuck in traffic to give some relief to their feet, but although this is not illegal, it is not generally recommended. There have been instances where shoes have become caught under the brake pedal, which prevents the vehicle from stopping and results in the car crashing into the car in front. In addition to the potential for an accident, it may be conceived as a form of distracted driving, which is an offense and could lead to you being issued a ticket.
If you are determined to drive barefoot and the potential safety hazards haven’t discouraged you, then perhaps the thought of being charged with dangerous driving may deter you. Admittedly, a law enforcement officer cannot issue you a ticket for driving barefoot, but if you are in an accident, which is somehow found to have been related to your barefoot driving, you could be charged with reckless or negligent driving.
You may be looking at your insurance premiums increasing. It could even affect your ability to obtain insurance coverage altogether, and possibly leave you open to claims from the other parties. (it is worthy to note that your big toes support roughly forty percent of your body weight, so if you were involved in a road accident and lost them, your balance would more than likely be affected).
If you are unfortunate enough to get a traffic ticket, GetDismissed can help you fight it.
You don’t have to go to court, fill out any paperwork and you don’t have to wait.
Vehicle Code Section 40902 allows you to contest tickets in writing, without having to make a personal appearance in court. It’s called Trial by Written Declaration, and our system helps you take advantage of it.
You answer questions about your traffic ticket, and our system completes all the paperwork for you. We’ve been doing this for years, and have developed a system that provides you with all your completed defense documents.
Once you enter your information about your ticket and answer all the questions, your defense will be prepared.
Almost all types of California traffic infractions can be contested using GetDismissed, so give us a call at 1-800-580-3769 or get started here and end your worries.
*If you don’t have your ticket handy, it’s okay — you can still start the process and just add it later!
*Be sure to quickly add as many notes about the stop as you can so you don’t leave out any important details!
*We will send you a completed packet for the court that just needs your signature and a stamp!
GetDismissed produces results in fighting all kinds of tickets. Unfortunately, this list does not include exhibition of speed citations. Your best bet in fighting one of these infractions, is to contact an attorney. An attorney can negotiate on your behalf to try and reduce fines, or even to reduce the charges to a lesser infraction which could possibly qualify for traffic school.
We do however, contest infractions revolving around speeding, red lights, red light cameras, cell phones, signs (primarily stop signs), carpool violations, U-turns, out of lane violations, and commercial violations. If you receive a citation and have questions, contact us today.