A lot of people ask me if it is illegal to drive barefoot so I thought I’d post this answer on the blog for anyone else who is wondering about this.
In short the answer is “No”. It is not illegal to drive barefoot in the UK. The only thing the highway code mentions with regards to clothing is as follows:
– Clothing and footwear must not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner.
I have heard of pupils passing their driving test barefoot. So driving with no shoes on is fine and if for any reason you get pulled over by the police and aren’t wearing any shoes you won’t get arrested, fined etc. However, there are a couple of things you need to consider before driving barefoot.
If you are take your shoes off when you get in the car to drive it is a good idea not to put them in the drivers foot-well. Shoes can slide around on the floor when the car is moving and could get stuck underneath the pedals, preventing you from operating them correctly. If you were involved in a serious accident that resulted in a police investigation and they found this to be the cause of the accident it could result in you getting prosecuted. Don’t take any chances, put your footwear in a passenger’s foot-well.
The other thing to be wary of is sharp stones on the floor of your car that could get stuck under your feet. You know how painful it can be when you tread on a jagged little piece of gravel with no shoes on. Well if one of those little blighters happens to be underneath your heel and you need to brake suddenly the sharp pain could actually cause you to withdraw your foot when you need to be slamming it down firmly! I actually heard of a case where this happened, resulting in damage and injury to third parties. When driving long distances the constant pressure of the pedal on the bottom of your foot can also become painful after a while without any cushioning.
I personally think it is wisest to drive in a comfortable pair of shoes but if you want to drive with your feet “au naturel” that’s fine but please do bare the above in mind.