Is It Legal to Drive Barefoot in California?
November 2, 2022 | Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law
You’ve just left a big meeting, are getting into your car, and can’t wait to kick off your high heels and drive home. Or maybe you just spent the day at Bay Beach, and your shoes are full of sand. You take them off to drive home.
But what if you’re pulled over for a traffic violation in these scenarios? Can you get in trouble or get a ticket for driving barefoot?
There isn’t a specific law in California that makes driving barefoot illegal, but if you’re caught driving without shoes, you could still get into legal trouble. A criminal lawyer experienced in handling traffic matters can help you reduce the penalties for this or may even be able to get your ticket dismissed altogether.
Does Wearing Shoes Increase Your Risk of a Collision?
If you have on athletic shoes or other comfortable flats, you probably aren’t going to take them off to drive, and these types of shoes, fully encasing the foot, with no heel, are perfectly comfortable and safe to drive in.
However, other shoes, such as very high stiletto heels, flip-flops, or slippers, may make driving more difficult and increase your risk of wrecking.
A flip-flop may slip off your foot while you’re moving it between pedals and get wedged between or beneath them. High heels can inhibit the motion of your foot or make it harder to press the pedals down. A slick shoe sole could slip off the brake at a bad time.
Your shoes may be uncomfortable, distracting you from the road, or may increase the time it takes to slam on the brakes in an emergency.
Some drivers say they feel a greater sense of control when they feel their feet on the pedals, which may make driving safer. And if your shoes hinder safe driving, it may be safer for you and others on the road for you to drive without them.
You Could Still Get into Trouble Driving Without Shoes
Although wearing some types of shoes may make it harder for some drivers to safely operate their vehicles, you could still run into legal trouble driving barefoot.
When you’re issued a California driver’s license, you assume a duty of care to drive responsibly and to make decisions that help avoid causing an accident or harm to others. This duty includes what kind of shoes, if any, you wear.
Your shoe choices could result in you being cited for reckless driving, defined in California as operating a vehicle with wanton disregard for the safety of others. If driving barefoot makes you a danger on the road or puts others in danger, you could end up with a misdemeanor citation.
Or you may be found negligent for not wearing shoes. If you got into a collision and were not wearing shoes at the time, the responding officer may determine that you were the negligent party that caused the accident. That means you could be held responsible for the other driver’s injuries and vehicle damage.
Can I Drive Barefoot in Redwood City?
Yes, you can drive without shoes in Redwood City (as in all of California), but you do have a responsibility to ensure that by doing so, you don’t pose a danger to other drivers on the road. If you are cited for not wearing shoes, such as for reckless driving or negligence, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help. A lawyer can also help if you’ve been cited in conjunction with a more serious charge, such as DUI.
Contact Our Criminal Defense Law Firm of Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law Today For Help.
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