Drivers urged to ‘step up’ for Road Safety Week

Inappropriate footwear can have an impact on safety when driving.

Inappropriate footwear can have an impact on safety when driving. - Credit: supplied

More than one in 10 people have admitted to having a road accident due to wearing inappropriate footwear, claims new research for Road Safety Week.

Flip-flops, high heels or even no shoes at all were cited as principal reasons for collisions in a study by insurance specialist 1st Central.

Driving in heels or barefoot is not specifically illegal, although the Highway Code makes provision for inappropriate footwear.

However, more than a quarter of people questioned thought wearing heels or going barefoot was against the law, casting doubt on how much people really know about safety and the law when behind the wheel.

But 20% owned up to driving barefoot anyway, while 29% said they have driven in high heels.

According to the research, half of Brits keep shoes in their car and 10% even claim to have four or more pairs stashed inside their motors.

Men are the worst offenders for wearing the wrong driving shoes, with 21% admitting the unwise move. That figure makes men three and a half times more likely than women to put themselves and other people at risk in this way.

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Andy James, UK chief executive of 1st Central, said: 'It's important to ensure safe driving at all times, even if this involves changing your footwear.

'While it is not illegal to drive in heels or barefoot, rule 97 of the Highway Code does state that clothing and footwear should not prevent you using the cars' controls in the correct manner.

'We'd recommend drivers take the necessary precautions to ensure that they can maintain a safe driving environment at all times.'