Is It Illegal to Drive Barefoot in Florida?

Posted on

While there are no laws on the books – at the state or federal level – regarding driving without shoes on, this absence does not alter the fact that it’s a dangerous practice that can lead to injury-causing accidents.

If another driver’s negligence, such as failing to wear proper footwear, winds up leaving you injured, the first order of business after seeking the medical attention you need is consulting with an experienced Florida car accident attorney.

Is It Dangerous to Be Driving Barefoot?

When a motorist drives without shoes, they are less prepared to handle their vehicle safely. Driving is an immense responsibility that requires a motorist’s best efforts in every arena, which includes wearing appropriate footwear that hits all the following marks:

  • Comfortable
  • Fits well
  • Provide supports
  • Has the flexibility and traction to connect firmly with the gas and brake pedals
  • Offers protection from the heat generated by the vehicle and any debris the driver’s foot may come in contact with

However, while it is dangerous to drive without shoes, there are certain kinds of shoes that fail to bolster safety – and can increase the risk involved.

The Risk Involved

The answer to “Is driving barefoot dangerous” is that it certainly can be for all the following primary reasons:

  • Driving barefoot can lead to sweaty feet that interfere with a motorist’s ability to manage the foot controls effectively – especially at high speeds.
  • Even a small change in a driver’s ability to control speed or braking can increase the risk of causing an accident, and not wearing shoes can limit this control.
  • Motorists who choose to drive without shoes leave themselves wide open to unexpected discomforts, such as sharp rocks and pebbles, that can lead to unexpected reactions behind the wheel.

Footwear That May Be More Dangerous Than Going Barefoot

Perhaps one of the reasons that driving barefoot in Florida may not be against the law is that certain kinds of footwear can be even more dangerous than foregoing shoes altogether.

High heels

When the shoe a motorist is wearing has a high heel, it leaves them with only two points of contact for the brake and gas pedals – at the toe and heel. Both are likely to be small and offer minimal traction, which makes handling the car safely tricky at best.


Flip-flops are little more than a flimsy piece of foam with a precarious piece of plastic holding them to one’s foot, and when they get in the way of a driver’s ability to control the gas or brake pedal, they can cause serious accidents. For example, the foam footbed can get wedged between the pedal and the ground, limiting the driver’s control over the pedal.


Crocs are uniquely bulky clog-like shoes made of hard foam, which offers very little bend and can get in the way of a motorist’s ability to control the foot pedals. While Crocs are considered comfortable, they are more like a shell of a shoe, which leaves them susceptible to slipping off and making them that much riskier to wear while driving.

Strappy Sandals

While some sandals offer considerable fit, flexibility, and security, those that are “strappy” can be a hindrance behind the wheel. A strappy sandal is more likely to hang off the foot rather than fit it well, and the straps themselves can hook on the gas or brake pedal and create an exceptionally dangerous driving situation.

A Barefoot Driver’s Negligence

When we think about driver negligence as it relates to car accidents, the following generally come to mind:

  • Distraction
  • Exhaustion
  • Impairment
  • Excess speed
  • Aggression
  • Failure to follow the rules of the road

Rarely do we think about motorists out there who don’t have shoes on or who choose questionable footwear, but the truth is that the gas and brake pedals play a central role in controlling a vehicle safely, which makes the decision to go barefoot a bad choice.

When a motorist’s bad choices lead to a car accident, they can be held accountable for their negligence – even if that negligence amounts to going barefoot or wearing shoes that impede safe driving.

The losses you experience

If you’ve suffered an injury in a car accident that was caused by a barefoot driver, the losses you’re facing can include:

  • Property damage to your vehicle and any of its contents
  • Your medical bills
  • Your lost income
  • Your physical and psychological pain and suffering

One of the most important steps you can take to support your rights and rightful compensation is working closely with a dedicated car accident attorney from the outset.

An Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney Is Standing By

Motorists are required to drive safely, and if going barefoot interferes with their ability to do so, they can be held accountable. If a barefoot motorist leaves you injured, the Florida car accident attorneys at Eltringham Law Group have the experience, legal skill, and focus to help guide your claim toward its most beneficial resolution. We welcome your inquiries.

Don’t wait to contact us online or call us at 561-944-6746 for more information today.

Car Accident FAQs

If driving barefoot isn’t illegal, is the other driver really responsible?

While driving barefoot isn’t expressly against the law, every motorist is charged with protecting the safety of others, and failure to do so can lead to liability.

What is my car accident claim worth?

You will seek compensation for your full range of physical, financial, and emotional losses, which includes property damage to your vehicle, your medical bills, your lost earnings, and the pain and suffering you endure.

ELG logo white scaled