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Too many people are driving with unsafe footwear, accor... Too many people are driving with unsafe footwear, according to a recent survey (_bianconero, Flickr)
It's fashion over safety for nearly 8 out of 10 women drivers, a recent survey revealed.

Nearly 80 percent of women drivers wear unsafe shoes when they're behind the wheel, a survey conducted by the United Kingdom price comparison website Confused.com says.

All told, 40 percent of women drivers say they wear high heels when driving, a safety faux pas according to many driving experts. Additionally, another 39 percent of women drivers say they wear wedges, platform heels or other footwear unsuitable for safe driving, the survey concludes.

"Women have been driving in high heels for years," said Lauren Fix, automotive columnist and safety expert. "Part of the problem is that they are wearing these six-inch spike heels with these new risers on the bottom. So you're not getting a good feel of the pedal."


Nearly half the women between the ages of 24-35 wear heels when behind the wheel, making that group the most likely to place fashion over safe driving habits.

"Wearing inappropriate footwear could cause the driver to lose control of the car and so we'd recommend keeping a pair of suitable shoes in the car to avoid any crashes," said Gareth Kloet of Confused.com in a statement. "Look at your feet; if you are wearing shoes which you would not wear for a driving test then you probably shouldn't wear them to drive either."
Do you drive in high heels or other unsafe footwear?
Yes, all the time 65 (34.4%)
From time to time 48 (25.4%)
Never 76 (40.2%)


Of course, women are not alone. Twenty seven percent of driving men admit to wearing flip flops, which is considered equally unsafe because they can slip off and get jammed between the gas and brake pedals.

Another 22 percent admit to driving barefoot, which is illegal in Britain. Barefoot car driving is legal in America.

However, driving with your toes can be equally dangerous, said Fix.

No similar survey has been done in America, but the same dangers present themselves.

"Flip flops are worse than heels in my opinion," says Matt Reilly, director of the U.S. based charity B.R.A.K.E.S, which stands for Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe.

Reilly is also a driving instructor for the organization, which teaches teens how to stay safe behind the wheel.

The reason high heels present a problem is that a good driver plants his or her heel on the car's floor, Reilly explained. That makes it easy to move their foot from the gas to the brake. High heels make that nearly impossible.

Furthermore, some shoes may not provide a solid position on the pedal. Heels and flip flops also can get jammed under or against a pedal or require a person to lift their foot off the floor to press a pedal down.

"Sometimes you only have a split second to react," Reilly says. "You put yourself at a great disadvantage if you're not wearing the right shoes."

So what's the best foot gear for either sex? Reilly says that a comfortable flat, rubber soled shoe should do just the trick. It allows for the easy movement and a solid grip on the pedal.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 6 Comments
      carney373
      • 3 Years Ago
      My sister got in a bad crash because her flip flop got caught under the pedal. She recovered but was pretty banged up.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I guarantee that 50% of women 24-35 are NOT wearing 6" heels. a 1" -2", maybe. The majority of shoes are not a problem when driving - take it from a sneaker wearing tomboy who's done her time in platforms and pumps. How on earth does STEERING with your TOES!@!#!?! Equate to barefoot driving? Is there just not enough real news right now?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Driving barefoot is NOT illegal in Britain, look it up at Driver Training Forums (UK driving instructors): http://www.drivertrainingtoday.co.uk/viewtopic.php?id=43042 You can even take your test barefoot. Whether it's safe or unsafe is of course up for discussion, but I've got quite a collection of articles of various officials (cops, insurance research directors) who recommend barefoot over heels, flipflops etc. Quite a lot depends on the individual, if you never put a bare toe on the floor outside the car, your feet will probably be pretty tender and soft and you may not be able to press down with the same force as in sturdy shoe. On the other hand, many people walk barefoot around their own homes and yard, some even hike barefoot and don't forget the growing barefoot running community... I'm convinced our feet are plenty strong to drive properly, even in an emergency. Fortunately the law (including in Britain!) leaves people free to decide for themselves and only if facts prove you wrong and you lose control of the vehicle it's considered reckless or unsafe driving (or your country's equivalent). Oh, and when driving barefoot remember to place the footwear in a safe place though, don't just slip out of it and leave it in the foot well where it can get under the pedals!
      • 3 Years Ago
      I drive in heels all the time, but not if they're super high. For instances like that I keep a pair of roll up flats in my car. It only takes a second you put them on and I always know where they are at.
      Smooth Motor
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm all for women driving with long spiked heels so long as they have pantyhose and mini skirt on as well.......
      • 3 Years Ago
      goodness, if I am going somewhere in heels I have a pair of flats in my car I can wear while I drive, and then just switch to heels when I get out! It's not that hard to do!