Is it Illegal to Drive Barefoot in New York?

Driving Barefoot

If you’re leaving work and can’t wait to take off your dress shoes or heels, it’s tempting to drive barefoot instead. Have you ever wondered what happens if you get pulled over while driving without shoes? Read on to learn about the laws and consequences of driving barefoot in New York.

Can I Drive Barefoot in New York?

New York law says that you do not have to wear shoes to drive. In fact, there’s no law in the state against barefoot travel or requiring shoes of any kind. So, if you happened to be pulled over by the state police, they would have no right to issue a ticket for driving without shoes.

However, there could still be consequences if you don’t wear your shoes while driving your car.

It’s possible that in a car accident, the other driver or their insurance company could claim that your being barefoot had bearing on the crash. Should a judge seriously consider their argument, you could be liable for some or all of the fault in the accident.

Is it Safe to Drive Barefoot?

It should go without saying that all New Yorkers should drive as safely as possible. When driving with no shoes, the feel of the gas or brake pedal can be entirely different than when wearing shoes.

With that in mind, those new to driving barefoot may be distracted. This could cause you to brake or accelerate at a rate different than normal. Plus, it’s easy for the foot to slip off of the pedals, which could result in speeding or sudden stopping. While they seem like simple issues, it can be a major safety concern on New York City streets with many pedestrians.

Is It Illegal to Drive in Flip Flops?

Sandals, flip flops, and slides are legal to drive in, but can be dangerous for a few reasons. They can easily slide off your feet – and if they do, can interfere with the brake and gas pedal.

Shoes with no straps across the heels can cause problems as well. They too have the tendency to bend, slide, or become lodged under the gas or brake pedal. This especially becomes hazardous when you need to stop suddenly for a person or another car, or if you need to accelerate onto a highway.

But sandals are not the only dangerous shoe in the closet when it comes to driving. Wedges, platform heels, high heels, and thick soled shoes make it harder for your foot to fully touch the pedal.

Have You Been in an Accident Driving Barefoot?

No, it’s not illegal to drive without shoes. However, it can cause you to drive in a manner you normally wouldn’t, thus increasing your chance of an accident. If this happens, you’ll be liable for any damages that occur. So, if you’re cruising through New York City, keep your shoes on your feet until you get home.

If you have been in a car accident as a result of driving without shoes on, then contact an attorney as soon as possible.

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