Why you shouldn’t drive barefoot in New York

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

On a hot summer day – especially if you’re just making a quick trip down the road or are on your way home from a long day in dress shoes – is there really any harm in driving barefoot?

It’s not ideal. No New York law makes driving barefoot illegal, but it’s still not a safe practice. Here’s why:

You have limited control 

Shoes provide an extra layer of protection and stability that your bare feet just don’t have when you’re trying to operate those car pedals. The sole of your shoe actually makes it easier for you to apply even pressure to the brake and gas, which can be critical for your vehicle’s smooth operation, especially in an emergency.

You risk your foot slipping

You may want to take off your shoes because your feet are hot and sweaty – but that’s exactly the sort of problem that could make it harder for your foot to stay in place. Without the tread on your shoes to keep your foot securely connected to the pedals, you may not have enough traction to hold your foot where you need it – and that can lead to an accident.

You have an increased chance of injury

Your shoes are actually protective gear for your feet. In an accident, it’s much easier to end up with broken toes or a broken foot if your bare foot gets jammed up against the pedals. It’s also easier to get your foot caught between the pedals in a wreck, which could lead to a broken ankle.

Finally, even though it’s not illegal to go barefoot behind the wheel of your car, it can still raise questions in the event of an accident. Insurance companies may scrutinize your choice to drive without shoes and claim that you’re at least partially responsible for your own injuries.