On March 26th, 1934 the United Kingdom instituted the first driving test. Today, there are over 250 millions cars on the road in the United States alone. Many things can affect our ability as drivers, but did you know that your foot health and even the shoes you are wearing could impact your driving performance?
About one third of all drivers wear flip-flops behind the wheel. Flip-flops are said to be the cause of almost 1.4 million accidents or near misses every year. One in nine motorists admit that their flip-flop got stuck under the pedal causing delayed reactions. There are plenty of statistics to back up the facts, but let’s do some math:
The average reaction time to fully engage the brakes on a car is lengthened by 0.13 seconds when wearing flip-flops. At a speed of 60 miles per hour, this would mean travelling more than an extra ten feet before coming to a stop. Do you leave an extra ten feet between you and the car in front of you every time you wear flip=flops? I’m thinking your answer is no.
Flip-flops provide almost no security for your feet. In fact, they can even fall off while you are driving and get wedged beneath the pedals. You may be thinking that if you just slip them off, that would be better. While driving barefoot is not technically illegal in the United States, it is frowned upon, as your feet can easily slip off the pedal. If you are in an accident and the police determine that your lack of footwear contributed to the situation, you can be cited for reckless driving.
Flip-flops are actually considered more dangerous than high heels behind the wheel, perhaps because both men and women wear them, but that doesn’t mean that high heels are in any way safe. Think about the last pair of stilettos you wore, how easy are they to walk in? For most women, high heals make walking a challenge. Why would we think that driving would be any different?
One of the downfalls to high heels is the lack of stability the actual heel provides. With a small surface area and steep angle, the heel cannot rest on the floor evenly which means the chances of your foot slipping off the pedal are increased. Sadly, the majority of women decide to put fashion before safety.
Experts recommend packing a second pair of shoes to wear in the car and change into your high heels (or flip-flops) when you reach your destination. Remember, there are plenty of pairs of shoes out there, but only one of you. Protect yourself, your loved ones, and every other driver on the road by choosing proper footwear.
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