Driving in flip-flops can be deadly

Driving in flip-flops can be deadly

With some hot summer days still left this season, flip-flops may be your shoe of choice until the fall air freezes your toes.

But you may think again, especially when hitting the road, after hearing the results of a recent British survey.

Sheila’s Wheels, the insurance company behind the poll, released the frightening findings of the serious dangers flip-flops pose when worn while driving.

The company found that the flimsy footwear results in about 1.4 million close-calls and accidents each year. The company hopes that people will not take these results lightly.

They even say that flips flops are more dangerous to drive in than high heels, making it hard to brake safely. In comparison with high heeled shoes, wearing flip-flops can take double the amount of time to move your foot from the brake pedal to the accelerator.

A third of the 1,055 motorists surveyed said that they wear flip-flops while driving. And 27 percent of them say their flip-flop shoe choice has warranted some type of misfortune or accident.

Another scary statistic finds that one in nine women confess that their flip-flop has been caught underneath the pedal while in drive. Under driving simulators, the company found that flip-flops actually can slow a person’s break time by about .13 seconds.

Many people, one in five, said they never would have thought their shoe choice could affect their safety while driving.

“It’s worrying that so many drivers out there do not realize the impact their footwear choices can have on their safety at the wheel,” said Sheila’s Wheels spokeswoman, Jacky Brown, in a statement.

“Millions may think they can drive safely but may not realize the shortcomings of the flip-flop until it’s too late – putting themselves, their passengers and other drivers at risk every time they get in the car,” Brown added.

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  1. My flip flop became tangled with the accelerator while I was driving on Lake Shore Drive. I had to miss my intended exit as slowing down was a challenge with my platform flip- flop under the gas pedal. I had to quickly bend down and remove the shoe. Fortunately, I was able to do this safely. That was 25 years ago and I have not driven in flip-flops since.

  2. Julie Nakis

    I’ll definitely be changing my ways while driving! If I’m wearing heels, I have actually brought sandals in my car to switch into before driving. I guess I should keep a shoe with full support in my car instead!

  3. I think you meant to write “brake” instead of “break.” See below.
    noun: brake; plural noun: brakes1. a device for slowing or stopping a moving vehicle, typically by applying pressure to the wheels.
    “he slammed on his brakes”
    •a thing that slows or hinders a process.
    “managers have a duty to put the brakes on growth when it is unsustainable”
    synonyms: curb, check, restraint, restriction, constraint, control, limitation More”a brake on research”
    verb: brake; 3rd person present: brakes; past tense: braked; past participle: braked; gerund or present participle: braking1. make a moving vehicle slow down or stop by using a brake.
    “drivers who brake abruptly”
    synonyms: slow down, slow, decelerate, reduce speed, stop More

  4. Sarah
    If we all stop our cars in good time we will live long enough to make spelling mistakes.

  5. Steven M. Sweat January 9, 2014 at 4:24 pm · Reply

    We should all take more time to think about the little things that can make us safer behind the wheel. Footwear, eliminating distractions like cell phone use and eating, not driving while we are drowsy or angry are all the types of things that could greatly reduce the total number of auto accidents every year based upon the cumulative effect of many people taking small steps.

  6. Hello. And Bye.

  7. Actually, it is MUCH safer to drive barefoot than wearing most shoes. Most people think there are laws against it. However, it is 100% LEGAL in ALL US states & Canada orovinces. Yes even yours. The Barefoot Is Legal website has verified the info.

  8. I was driving in flip flops on a hot summer day and I realized that my left flop flip got stuck in the accelerator, pinning it down! I was going extremely fast and couldn’t brake because I only have 1 foot that isn’t injured! I had to swerve in and out of traffic, I almost got into a head-on with a semi! Luckily I was able to rip my keys out of my ignition, I was still going at a high speed so I just drove/crashed into a ditch. There was minimal damage to my car but I had a panic attack! That was 10 years ago… I will never ever drive with flip flops ever again, even if it means having cool feet.

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About the Author

Sarah Scroggins
Sarah Scroggins

Sarah Scroggins, health enews contributor, is the director of social media at Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. She has a BA and MA in Communications. When not on social media, she loves reading a good book (or audiobook), watching the latest Netflix series and teaching a college night class.