Driving in Flip Flops in Florida: Is It Illegal? Is It Safe?
By Team at Zimmet & Zimmet, In Personal injury
With the weather being relatively warm all year long in Florida, most residents spend most of their time in sandals, flip flops, or even barefoot. As such, it is not uncommon for people to jump into a car and start driving in flip-flops or even barefoot. While flip flops may feel comfortable, particularly in warm temperatures, they can make your drive much more dangerous. In fact, driving in flip flops can possibly cause other serious legal implications if this footwear causes an accident. Our experienced car accident lawyer in Deland explains why.
Florida laws about driving in flip flops
Contrary to popular belief, driving in flip-flops or barefoot is legal in Florida and every other state in America. However, the fact that it’s not prohibited does not make it recommendable or safe. In fact, wearing flip-flops while driving is highly discouraged and unsafe.
In case of an accident while wearing flip-flops, the police may charge you with reckless driving, which attracts a fine of up to $1000, up to six months in jail, or both. That’s why you need to enlist a car accident lawyer in Deland if you are involved in an accident while wearing flip-flops.
Legal but unsafe: Dangers of driving in flip-flops or barefoot
When driving, the choice of footwear can be of great significance to safety. If there is a choice between driving barefoot or in flip flops the safest option would be barefoot. However, both of them pose different risks.
Dangers of driving barefoot
- Uneven distribution of pressure on the pedal as compared to when one has a shoe, making braking and accelerating less effective.
- Repeated use of the bare feet on the pedals could result in foot soreness reducing the effectiveness of the driver.
- Your feet may become sweaty and slippery due to sweat which can cause the foot to lose grip on the pedals, thus increasing the possibility of an accident.
- There is nothing to protect the feet in case of an accident.
Dangers of driving in flip flops
- Flip flops lack adequate ankle support, which could lead to the foot slipping off the pedal or missing it altogether.
- Flip flops can get easily jammed under the pedals, which can be catastrophic.
- Due to sweating, flip flops often slip off the foot, distracting drivers as they try to fumble for them on the driver floor.
- Unlike shoes that evenly distribute pressure on the pedals, flip flops have thin soles that do not allow for equal distribution of foot pressure on the pedals.
It’s important to bear in mind that flip flops and sandals are not the only unsafe driving footwear. Other types of shoes could also lead to severe accidents, especially those with:
- Slippery soles
- Overly thick soles
- Limited ankle motion, for example, boots
- Small sole surface area, for example, high heels
Best practices for safe driving in Florida
When driving, it would be best to keep a few best practices in mind to avoid the possibility of an accident resulting from inappropriate footwear. Some of these best practices include:
- Always wear appropriate footwear for driving: If you intend to loosen up and wear open shoes once you reach your destination, consider carrying them with you but only change into them once you arrive at your destination.
- Have an appropriate shoe in your car at all times: It is understandable you may get carried away and fail to carry a proper driving shoe with you. Having one in your vehicle at all times will ensure that you can always have access to an appropriate shoe.
- Put your shoes safely in the car: If you have to change into driving-appropriate shoes, ensure that your extra set of shoes is put away appropriately. You do not want to have your shoes rolling under your pedals, jamming them, which could be catastrophic.
What to do in case of an accident while in flip flops or barefoot
Besides the fact that you could be charged with negligence or reckless driving, a car accident that happens while driving barefoot or with flip-flops should be treated just like any other. In other words, you should:
- Call 911 to have the police and emergency services come to the scene
- Seek medical attention
- Collect all the relevant evidence, which may include photos, video footage, and witness testimonies and contacts
- Collect personal and contact information of the other driver or drivers involved
Contact an experienced car accident lawyer in Deland today
If you find yourself in an unfortunate situation where you are involved in an accident caused by flip-flops or driving barefoot, consider contacting Zimmet & Zimmet to work with a reliable car accident lawyer in Deland. With our over 40 years of providing personalized attention to Florida’s injury victims, you can rest assured our attorneys will steer you towards the best outcome possible. Contact us online or give us a call today for a free consultation.