A Florida woman from Fort Walton Beach claims that her flip flops are the reason behind her automobile accident. The anonymous female driver stated that she was in the process of backing out of her driveway when her foot slipped and her heeled shoe got caught under the gas pedal preventing her from braking in time. She crashed through her neighbor's house across the street and nearly killed a young boy in the process. Accidents like this may seem outlandish but are more common than people might believe. In fact, a UK court recently heard an ex-model's tale of how she accidentally hit a cyclist while test driving a car, due to wearing 2-inch-heels.
Why Proper Driving Footwear is Important
The model in the UK case was Julie Hunter. Ms. Hunter was supposedly test driving a car in a 30 mph zone but was going 50 mph. In an attempt to avoid hitting another vehicle on the road, Ms. Hunter spun out her car and hit a cyclist named Debbie Riches. Upon impact, Riches’ bicycle flew 20 feet into the air before landing and becoming pinned under Ms. Hunter's vehicle. Ms. Riches was pinned under Hunter’s vehicle for about 30 minutes until fire crews arrived and were able to lift the car by utilizing inflatable airbags. Riches was pronounced dead at the scene. The medical team rushed Hunter to a nearby hospital for her fractured skull and internal ear damage.
The crash investigator who worked on the scene determined that there weren’t any mechanical issues with the car Hunter drove or the bicycle that Riches was riding at the time of the accident. However, the investigator did say that the, "very high" heels worn by Hunter may have inhibited her ability to drive.
Examples of Improper Driving Footwear
Coincidentally, Shell Oil Company conducted a survey on over 1,000 drivers and determined that at 29% of drivers aged 18-30 are more likely to drive while wearing inappropriate footwear, including shoes with wide bottoms, thick soles, or even driving barefoot. Shoes that have wide soles can make it harder for a driver to properly place their foot on one pedal at a time. In a similar sense, shoes with thick soles make it harder for a driver to gauge the amount of pressure needed to apply to the pedals. Respectively, improper footwear does not just pertain to woman, but includes male footwear as well. Some typically male styles of shoes that may be improper for safe driving include oxfords, work or steel toe boots, and sandals.
The Recommended Footwear for Driving
The Telegraph advises that drivers should stick to shoes like the moccasins or athletic footwear for easy stow-ability, comfortability, and proper sole-to-pedal ratio. Motorsports shoes are also a responsible alternative to prevent scuffing while providing grip.
With summer having arrived in Michigan, many drivers refuse to wear anything but sandals until cold weather hits returns. These drivers should remember the importance of wearing proper foot gear as a precaution to avoid getting into car accidents. If compromising their style is their biggest worry, drivers can keep a pair driving appropriate shoes in their car year round that they can switch out with whatever shoes they want to wear once they get out from behind the wheel of their motor vehicle. Valuing fancy footwear over driving safety is not worth a trip to the ER!
All drivers, and not just ladies, should be aware of the shoes, or lack their of, that they wear when driving. Wearing the right footwear could possibly prevent motor vehicle accidents. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM today, for a free consultation.