Can I Drive In Flip Flops?

With the weather beginning to tease us with hints of sunshine, many of us will be beginning to plan our getaways for the summer. If you are planning a driving holiday or road trip this summer, then be sure to know where the law lies on driving in holiday attire.

Flip flops and sandals are a staple in everyone’s summer wardrobe, but when it comes to driving, many of us aren’t aware of the rules and implications of our footwear choices.

Is it illegal to drive in flip flops?

There is often a lot of confusion over the law when it comes to driving in flip flops or even with no shoes at all. Put simply; it is not illegal to drive wearing flip flops or bare feet in the UK. However, there are some other laws to be aware of. While it is entirely within the law to get behind the wheel of a car with flip flops on, you must be able to operate the controls of the vehicle safely.

If, for example, you have just been for a paddle in the sea and then drive off with wet flip flops or feet, you might not have full control of the vehicle. This could put yourself, your passengers and other road users at risk if you can’t drive safely, and this is illegal.

What shoes can I drive in?

Although it technically isn’t against the law to drive without shoes, that does not mean it’s right. The Driving Standards Agency states that ‘suitable shoes are particularly important behind the wheel’ and there are some standard guidelines that should be followed. Your footwear should:

  • Have a sole that is 10mm or less, without being too thin or soft.
  • Have enough grip to keep your feet from slipping on the pedals.
  • Not be too heavy.
  • Not limit your ankle movement.
  • Be narrow enough, so you don’t accidentally press two pedals at the same time.

With this in mind, many flip flops can be considered not suitable for driving as they may not provide enough grip and could have very thin soles. Driving in flimsy, impractical footwear might seem like a comfortable and easy choice when on holiday in the summer, but it can be dangerous to both yourself and others.

This summer, keep some sensible driving footwear in your car to change into when you get behind the wheel.

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