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Driving In Flip Flops Could Land You With A Fine And Points On Your Licence

Driving In Flip Flops Could Land You With A Fine And Points On Your Licence

When it's as hot as it is this week, we can barely be bothered to dress properly nevermind wear anything other than bare feet - or at the very most, flip flops.

But did you know driving in flip flops could land you with a fine and points on your licence?

There's a reason you shouldn't wear flip flops while driving (Credit: Unsplash)
There's a reason you shouldn't wear flip flops while driving (Credit: Unsplash)

Although it's technically not illegal, Rule 97 of The Highway Code states clothing and footwear must "not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner".

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As flip flops can be so insecure, wearing them while driving can be seen as contravening the rule.

If you were to have an accident while in flip flops, for example, you could be seen to be driving without due care and attention, which could land you with a £100 fine and three points on your licence.

Added to that, it's pretty dangerous, due to risks of getting the shoe trapped under one of the pedals.

Speaking to Tyla, driving instructor Chris Bensted explained: "Around 18 months ago I was stood in my kitchen and there was a massive bang. I went outside and there was a guy getting out of a BMW that was in pieces.

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"His flip flip had gotten stuck underneath the accelerator and he had lost total control.

Flip flops might seem like the comfy option, but it's not worth the risk (Credit: Pexels)
Flip flops might seem like the comfy option, but it's not worth the risk (Credit: Pexels)

"Flip flops or Ugg boots, where they're quite wide and not a lot of tread, anything like that and you're at risk of having a problem with the pedals.

"The biggest issue is with automatics because in a manual you can put the clutch down and stop the engine but the main problem is it can get stuck on or under the pedal, meaning you can't move your foot across or you end up pushing the accelerator and the brake. If you're pushing both - contrary to popular opinion - you can still end up accelerating,

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Driving In Flip Flops Could Land You With A Fine, Penalty Points Or Road Ban

"It's the same as having anything rolling around in the car that could get stuck under the pedal. From a legal stand point there's always a question mark but as a driver, you're expected to be in control of the vehicle and if you've made a decision to do something that means you're not in control of the vehicle, you could be held liable."

As Chris explains, wearing flip flops behind the wheel can be a bit of a grey area, so we spoke to Gary Thompson, Underwriting Director at young car insurance providers, Marmalade.

Flip flops can get stuck under the pedals (Credit: Shutterstock)
Flip flops can get stuck under the pedals (Credit: Shutterstock)

He said: "Whilst it is highly unlikely an insurer would decline a claim based on a driver being negligent because they were wearing flip-flops, it is possible it would be deemed as a 'driving without due care and attention' offence, resulting in the driver receiving a motoring conviction and points on their licence, which will increase the cost of their insurance in the future.

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"This is because these factors suggest you are at more risk of having another accident."

The RAC has provided further guidelines on the debated topic, explaining: "It is not illegal to drive in the UK without shoes on and the same applies for wearing flip flops - there is a catch though.

"You can get behind the wheel of a vehicle barefoot or while wearing flip flops, provided you are able to operate the controls safely. If you do so with wet feet, for example, you might be putting yourself, your passengers and other road users at risk by not being able to drive the car safely. This is illegal.

"And while it's not illegal to drive without shoes on, that doesn't mean it's right.

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RAC advise the following guidelines. Your shoes should:

  • Have a sole no thicker than 10mm, but the sole should not be too thin or soft.
  • Provide enough grip to stop your foot slipping off the pedals.
  • Not be too heavy.
  • Not limit ankle movement.
  • Be narrow enough to avoid accidentally depressing two pedals at once.

So while the idea of wearing stuffy trainers is so unappealing right now, it's best to put safety first when behind the wheel - so leave those flip flops at home!

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: Life News, Driving, Shoes

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Lucy Devine

Lucy is a journalist working for Tyla. After graduating with a master's degree in journalism, she has worked in both print and online and is particularly interested in fashion, food, health and women's issues. Northerner, coffee addict, says hun a lot. Get in touch at [email protected]