Driving barefoot

My husband hates it when I drive barefoot and insists that there is a law against it.
I’ve looked online and asked a few police officers and some officers say yes and some say no. bleh
So, is it really that big of a deal?
Other dopers do you drive barefoot on occation?
Why on earth could this be illegal? I feel there is a bit more control on the petals barefoot besides the fact I just really don’t like to wear shoes whenever I can get away with it.
They do sit on the floorboard under my seat though for when I have to do shoping or what have you.

That would bother me too. It strikes me as unnecessarily dangerous (too easy to miss a pedal, stub a toe, etc), but I don’t know that it’s illegal. If it’s causing issues with your driving I’d bet you could get ticketed for the resulting behavior (reckless driving or whatever).

You looked online? Funny, I got lots of hits. This guy pursued the question in 1994:

You should note that local gov’ts. may address the issue, such as beach communities.

Welp, I learnt to drive barefooted. Here, insurance won’t cover you if you were wearing flip flops/ thongs because they make it easier for your foot to slide off the pedal. I drive shod but it freaks me out sometimes because I can’t feel the size of the pedal and whether I’m only touching one pedal or two.

If you’re driving barefoot that means you might have kicked off your shoes while driving and left them wandering around loose behind the brake pedal. That could be one reason behind a law against barefoot driving.

I remember once a hardened old cop came to my high school to give us a scare-them-straight traffic safety talk. He began by asking the whole auditorium, “how many of you know there’s a law against driving barefoot in Indiana?” Dozens of hands went up. Then he said, “there is no law against driving barefoot in Indiana.”

I love it when know-it-alls are put in their place! It reminded me of the scene in American Psycho where Bateman goes back to Paul Allen’s apartment, sees a realtor showing it to some people, and she asks him, “Are you here about the ad in the Times?” and he says, “yes,” and she says, “there was no ad in the Times.”

I’d say it’s very common here in Hawaii. I strongly prefer it since I feel like I get better a better feel for the pedal and how it’s pushed in. Driving with a shoe is like driving with a numb foot.

I leant to drive barefoot because it’s far easier to accurately control the pedals, particularly on a manual transmission. The first time I drove with shoes it felt like I’d had my feet amputated - NO SENSATION!! (Insert condom analogy here as required). I’ve since got to the point where I’m perfectly happy with shoes, but I still occassionally drive barefoot just to regain that feeling of absolute control over the clutch and accelerator. Not ever more than a couple of minutes, though, and not on public roads.

When I’m wearing flip-flops, I take off the right one when I’m driving – I’m concerned about it getting tangled in the pedals when I move my foot from one to the other.

Well, that was the original concern. Now it’s just habit. Ah, summer – can’t wait for the first time I kick off my flip-flop to drive!

Obviously, whoever came up with the idea that being shod while driving never wore heels.

Is this going to end up a “do you take your shoes off in the car?” thread?

I drive barefoot. I’m a high-heel devotee, and they don’t mix with the brake pedal. In the winter, I wear “driving shoes” - rubberized shoes that are lined in fleece.


It is (or was…maybe it changed) illegal in Illinois. I never understood the logic behind it, but you can get a ticket for it.

We’ve had this discussion many times on this board, and no laws have been found by the members banning bare foot driving. I of course can’t find it in search like most stuff posted before this year. I don’t know if they chopped out a large chunk of the database or if it’s a search engine thing. This is one of the topics that should be put into a permanent archive.

My driver’s ed instructor actually recommended that, on long road trips, the driver take shoes off. The “stimulation” on the foot was supposed to help you stay awake.

I’ve never done it. The pedals on my car are dirty, and my socks are clean, and I want it to stay that way.

It’s NOT! Shed those shoes, Kalhoun, and I’ll meet you at the beach!

Yep, I was also told whilst growing up in Illinois that it was illegal to drive barefoot. Apparently not.

Here is the entire Illinois Vehicle Code.

Neither the sections on ARTICLE V. DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED, TRANSPORTING ALCOHOLIC LIQUOR, AND RECKLESS DRIVING or ARTICLE XIV. MISCELLANEOUS LAWS has any mention of the words “foot”, “footwear”, “shoes”, or “barefoot”. I don’t have time to search all the other sections - those seemed the most likely ones based on content.

Another vote for barefoot driving. I don’t care to wear my sandals returning from the beach. They are all sandy and chafe my feet. Plus it is great for long drives. You can rest your whole foot on the floor and accelerate with just the toes. Keeps you awake, too.

Cars are deathtraps regardless of whether or not you’re wearing shoes. For example (also read: Anecdote Time!)

I had my clutch go out ~50 miles from home as a kid. I’ve had a bottle of (water, soda, something) get trapped underneath my brake pedal. Scary! I’ve had my brakes stop working - pedal sink to the floor with no response. Another scary moment! I’ve had 3 out of 5 lug nuts on my front drivers-side tire shear off on a 500 mile trip (with my new wife & stepdaughter in the car). I’ve had a radiator hose bust & had to bandage it with duct tape (saving lives since 1942). I had my car die & refuse to start in the middle of I-95 in Boston during rush hour. I’ve had my transmission fall apart at ~75 MPH. I’ve had some belt or other snap & lost power steering. I’ve had my timing belt snap. I’ve had several alternators go & at least once had to replace it while standing in a foot of icy slushy snowy water during a snow storm. I’ve had all my lights die while driving at night. I’ve had a fuel line rupture - want to talk nausea? Breath gasoline while stuck in traffic in 100 degree weather with no AC! I’ve had my windshield wipers die during downpours in two different cars. I’ve been caught out at 2 AM in the middle of rural Maryland after a fresh snow & had no idea where the road ended & certain death began.

I have forgotten I was driving an automatic & hit the brake with both feet a few times, but I’ve never missed a pedal…

But at least I’ve never stubbed a toe. :smiley:

Not at home to check PA MVC, but here’s a hypothetical as to why it’s illegal: Last person to drive the car before you was wearing shoes. Shoes picked up a small sharp stone, piece of glass, fill in debris of your choice, and stuck same in grooves of brake pedal rubber. You take short hop to the corner store in your bare feets, and kid on skateboard/man chasing dog/naked Yeti darts into the street. Hard application of brakes ensues, except OWIE makes you want to LIFT your foot from pain, instead of missing kid/dog/Bigfoot. Shoes-even sandals preclude the above hypothetical. YMMV.

At a Jethro Tull concert, Ian Anderson says “Who here HATES cats??” and a bunch of people cheer. “Well tough shit, the next song’s about cats!” (Ian is a notorious cat lover)

Me, I will drive barefoot on long drives/road trips. The main reason I don’t do it more often is that it makes my feet reaaaally dirty. I actually feel like I have more control, because I can feel more with my feet than with my shoes. I’ve never stubbed a toe or missed a pedal (??) driving barefoot. I think that missing a pedal would be far more likely in shoes since you can’t feel it as well. If I drive barefoot, though, I put my shoes in the passenger’s footwell because having shoes floating around by my feet seems dangerous.

I drive barefoot a lot, but I usually take shoes off the floor so they won’t slide under the pedals. If it’s cold, I’ll bring a pair of slippers along to wear in the car since I hate wearing shoes when riding for any length of time in a car, period.

Actually, lately my greatest underfoot driving hazard has not been shoes, but has been the dogs’ tennis balls – when my husband takes them to the beach, he puts the balls in a tennis can with no top and slips it under the driver’s seat. Apparently for him they stay put. For me, they roll out immediately – at least now I’m aware of them and remove them before they roll out unexpectedly at the wrong moment! They about scared me to death the first time they rolled out and got under my feet.