In some states there are strict rules saying that you must drive with shoes on. California is certainly not one of those states. From looking at all of the statutes and penal codes there is nothing that specifically says that it is illegal to drive while barefoot in the state of California.
Living in California, it can be a normal thing to go to the beach, get sand everywhere and then not want to put your shoes back on in order to drive home. Or for some business professionals, wearing dress shoes or high heals for women all day can be tough and not make someone want to drive with their shoes on. Luckily for these types of drivers, this does not present a legal problem. If you get pulled over by an officer and they see this, there is no real direct citation that they can give you for driving while barefoot.
Taking your shoes off while driving
Some people will take their shoes off at a light or when they are in traffic. This, although still not legal is not recommended. As personal injury lawyers we have heard stories of shoes getting caught under the break pedal causing the car not to be able to stop and to plough into the cars in front of them. Furthermore this could be seen as distracted driving. So although this practice may not be illegal, it can be very dangerous and result in accidents.
Is it dangerous to drive barefoot?
Parents may have told their children when they were younger that it is dangerous to drive while barefoot. However, there is no real proof to show that this is true. With the entire craze for minimalistic shoes these days, research shows that running without shoes can be better and healthier for the foot. It also shoes that using the foot in its natural form without stationary resistance can also strengthen the foot. We don’t recommend driving while barefoot for the first time in traffic with other cars around, but we also don’t think that it is more dangerous than driving with shoes on.
Is it dangerous to drive in flip-flops?
It is quite a common question whether or not it is dangerous to drive with flip-flops on. The research on this one can go both ways. People have actually gotten in accidents with flip-flops on and complained of slipping of the foot or not being able to control the brake pedal as well. However, there have been no long-term case studies that can support that it is actually more dangerous to drive in flip-flops on.
Is it bad to crash barefoot without shoes on?
There is nothing in the law that says that if you get in a car accident barefoot then you are going to be more responsible than someone who has shoes on. However, you should know that if you are in an accident, both sides are always looking for ways to try and point fingers at the other party in regards to liability.
The law says that you cannot drive negligent and if you do then you can be responsible for an accident. The argument could be that driving without shoes on was the negligent action that caused the accident. So although there is nothing illegal about it, and it may not be dangerous, if you get in an accident barefoot, there could be a legal argument you will face against you in the future.