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CHP sets the record straight on driving barefoot


The California Highway Patrol (CHP) recently addressed one of the most common and persistent myths about footwear requirements for drivers.

The CHP’s Stockton Division said this week that whatever you might’ve heard, there is nothing illegal about driving without shoes.

From an August 9 social media post:

Yes, it is perfectly legal to drive a vehicle in California without wearing anything on your feet. It is a common misconception that it is illegal to drive barefoot, but there are no laws in the state requiring drivers to wear anything on their feet.

In fact, according to The Zebra, driving sans shoes is legal in all 50 states, and there are no federal laws requiring drivers wear shoes when they’re behind the wheel.

Some people feel that driving barefoot is more dangerous because of the risk that a shoeless foot might slip off a pedal. Because of this, some states say that driving barefoot is not recommended but isn’t illegal.

The position of some law enforcement agencies, including the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP), is that driving barefoot might actually be safer than wearing some types of shoes.

From MSHP:

First, contrary to popular belief and to most grandparents, it is not illegal to drive barefoot in Missouri! In fact, at times, it may even be safer to drive without shoes. For example, female drivers who wear the two-inch heels, pumps, wedges, or even the thin flip-flops, may be safer depending on the abilities of the driver, to drive barefoot, so they can gage the pedals better. Some of the thin flip-flops will bend up under the pedal, or if it gets wet, your foot may slide off or twist on the sandal causing a hazardous situation.

So there you have it. Drivers, what’s your take on proper footwear when you’re behind the wheel? Let us know in the comment section!


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