Don't let driving in flip flops ruin your Summer!

28 July 2019

by: Aislinn Millichip

The UK is going through a spell of hot weather that has reached record-breaking levels. Obviously, that means you'll be wanting to wear as comfortable and cool an outfit as possible - including flip flops.

But drivers are making mistakes on the roads that could invalidate their insurance, according to research. Here are some of those mistakes, including the rules on driving with flip flops.

Is driving in flip flops actually against the law?

In an attempt to educate confused drivers, the RAC has clarified the issue once and for all.

There is no law against driving in flip flops or even barefoot but you must make sure you can operate the controls safely. There are no specific definitions but wearing “inappropriate footwear” and putting passengers and other motorists in danger is illegal.

Rule 97 of the UK Highway Code says you must make sure you have footwear and clothing that “do not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner”. The Driving Standards Agency has also stressed the importance of using sturdy footwear behind the wheel and avoiding driving barefoot at all costs. Flip flops are not encouraged because of their lack of grip and the chance they may fall off and wedge themselves under the pedals.

The body responsible for regulating driving tests said: “Suitable shoes are particularly important behind the wheel. We would not recommend driving barefoot because you don’t have the same braking force with bare feet as you do with shoes on.”

With figures suggesting 27% of men and 39% of women have driven in flip flops, the RAC has released these guidelines for appropriate footwear:

- Have a sole no thicker than 10mm

- Have a sole that’s not too thin or soft

- Provide enough grip to stop your foot slipping off the pedals#

- Not too heavy

- Not limit ankle movement

- Be narrow enough to avoid accidentally pressing on two pedals at once

Comparison website Uswitch also found other things that could potentially invalidate their insurance that drivers were unaware of.

- Wearing high heels or flip flops while driving - 25% of drivers

- Leaving car unlocked - 24%

- Putting off car maintenance when required - 21%

- Forgetting to renew their car MOT on time - 16%

- Letting pet(s) roam free in the car - 15%

- Lent car to a friend or family member - 14%

- Not updated details after changing jobs - 9%

- Attached fluffy dice, or another object to rear-view mirror - 9%

- Forgetting to renew tax - 9%

- Underestimated mileage travelled everyday - 8%

Wales was 10% above the national average for people forgetting to renew their MOT with 26% of drivers saying they forgot.

Rod Jones, insurance expert at Uswitch.com, told the Mirror : “We know the British public are increasingly time poor, so it’s unsurprising that motorists can be forgetful when it comes to locking up their cars or renewing their car MOT and taxes on time.

“With claims now running into the thousands of pounds, people can’t afford to make a careless mistake that could invalidate their cover and leave them out of pocket.

“It is therefore really important that drivers note down their key renewal dates, and avoid making the mistakes to ensure they are covered should they ever need to make a claim.”

 
Taken from an original article by Wales Online.