27th May 2015
Motorists are putting themselves and others at risk by driving in unsafe footwear, a new poll has revealed.
Getting behind the wheel bare-foot, in flip-flops, high heels or shoes with poor grip, could invalidate your cover if you have an accident.
A survey by uSwitch.com, the comparison website, found that a third of respondents would refuse to get in the car if the driver was not wearing any shoes –yet one in five motorists (18%) drive barefoot.
More than one in ten drivers (12%) have stalled their car in the past year because their shoes made controlling the pedals difficult.
Just 16% of motorists keep a pair of driving shoes in their car.
Almost one in ten (8%) women admit to wearing shoes behind the wheel that they struggle to walk in – but men are more likely than women to stall their car due to their shoes. As the weather gets hotter, drivers’ footwear choices are only likely to get worse.
Eight in ten drivers (82%) believe that their choice of footwear might be affecting their safety behind the wheel.
Driving in inappropriate shoes, or none at all, isn’t illegal, an insurer could perceive it as dangerous driving and, in extreme cases, it could invalidate your insurance in the event of an accident.
Pumps are the top pick for a driving shoe, with 36% favouring the comfy flat behind the wheel. These are closely followed by trainers, with 35% of Brits opting for the sporty staple. However, these may not always be the safest option as their thick soles can cause drivers to misjudge pressure on the pedals.
However to compensate for this, one in five women (22%) keep a spare pair of driving shoes in their car, compared to fewer than one in ten men (8%).
The guidelines for the best shoes to drive in, according to the RAC, are:
Kasey Cassells, insurance expert at uSwitch.com, says: “It may seem a bit old fashioned, but driving shoes are the must have accessory for any weekend away in the car. A spare pair of well-fitting flats or pumps can make a difference to your driving style and help you get more out of your motor by preventing stalling, swerving and stopping too quickly.
“It is incredibly worrying that some people are putting themselves and other road users at risk by attempting to drive in shoes they struggle to walk in – whether they are heels, Uggs, spikes or even slippers. You wouldn’t drive without glasses if you need them or wear a hat that covers your eyes, so you shouldn’t wear shoes that impair your driving.
“However, the good news is that some people, especially women, are taking steps to address this by keeping a spare pair of driving shoes in the car.”