Is it Legal to Drive Barefoot in Philadelphia?

Going barefoot is a matter of personal preference. Many people prefer going barefoot in their homes and while driving their cars. However, is driving barefoot in Philadelphia a crime?

No Federal or State Laws Prohibit Driving Barefoot

Contrary to popular belief, there is not a federal or state law that prohibits a person from driving barefoot. However, as with any question of law, there are exceptions to this statement.

If you are driving barefoot and cause a traffic accident, you could face a reckless driving charge if the officer believes driving barefoot contributed to the cause of the accident. The Pennsylvania reckless driving statute defines reckless driving as the “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Violation of the statute is a summary offense.

The Pennsylvania careless driving statute may also apply in cases involving accidents caused by a barefoot driver. Careless driving is defined as operating a vehicle with a careless disregard for the safety of property or others. Violating this code section is also a summary offense.

Civil Penalties for Driving Barefoot

In addition to criminal penalties, you can also face civil penalties for driving barefoot. If you cause an accident because you are driving barefoot, you could be held liable for the damages caused by the car accident.

Car accident claims may include damages such as:

  • The cost of medical treatment and care;
  • Personal care expenses;
  • Loss of income and diminished earning potential;
  • Physical suffering and pain;
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD;
  • Disfigurement, scarring, and disabilities; and,
  • Loss of quality of life and enjoyment of life.

Your insurance provider may be responsible for paying the compensation owed to the accident victim if you cause a car accident. However, if you do not have sufficient liability car insurance, you could be personally liable for damages. The accident victim may seek a personal judgment against you to try to recover the remaining compensation from your personal assets.

If a barefoot driver caused your car crash, contact a car accident lawyer to discuss your rights. You may be entitled to substantial compensation for a car accident claim. However, you must prove that the driver caused the accident before you can recover any money for your injury claim.

Are Flip Flops Safe to Wear While Driving or Should You Take Them Off?

Unfortunately, wearing flip flops could be more dangerous than driving barefoot. In 2018, a woman claims that her flip flops caused her to drive over a curb and land on top of two other vehicles.

The driver told police that she lost control of the vehicle when her flip flop became stuck in the vehicle pedals. The police officers cited the driver for negligent operation of a vehicle for causing the accident.

Some shoes can become stuck in the pedals of a vehicle, such as flip flops or heavy, large boots. Other footwear may cause your foot to slip off the pedal because the bottom of the shoe is slick. Your foot may also slip out of a flip flop or slide (backless shoe).

In some cases, women wearing high heels have trouble with the pedals because there is less shoe surface to depress the pedal. High heels can also become stuck on the floor mats in a vehicle.

The bottom line is that drivers need to be careful when choosing shoes to drive or choosing to drive barefoot. All drivers have a duty of care to others on the road to operate their motor vehicles safely. The choice of footwear for deriving could be considered negligent if the footwear increases the risk for a car accident.

Common Car Accident Injuries

The injuries in a car accident depend on several factors, including the type of vehicles involved, the speed of the vehicles, and the environment. However, any car crash can result in serious or life-threatening injuries.

Some of the injuries that are common in car accidents include:

  • Neck and shoulder injuries
  • Back injuries and spinal cord injuries
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Concussions, traumatic brain injury, and other head injuries
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Internal organ damage
  • Seat belt and airbag injuries

It is important to seek medical treatment after a car accident to document your injuries. You must link your injuries to the car accident to recover compensation for damages. Delays in medical care often hurt a person’s chances of recovering full compensation for a car accident claim.

If you have questions, you can talk with a car accident lawyer about the steps to take after a car accident.


Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC
123 S Broad St #1220
Philadelphia, PA 19109
(215) 875-7030