Is It Legal to Drive Barefoot in Missouri?
Ryan Bradley | July 1, 2021 | Missouri Law
It’s a common misconception that driving barefoot is illegal in Missouri. There is no state or federal law that makes barefoot driving illegal. You can slip off your shoes and drive with confidence in Missouri, and you will not get a traffic ticket for driving barefoot.
However, if driving barefoot contributes to the cause of a car crash, you could be charged with another traffic violation. For example, if you pinch your foot on the pedal and fail to stop for a stop sign, you could receive a traffic ticket for running a stop sign. Another example might include rear-ending a car while trying to slip on your shoes.
The choice to drive without shoes is a personal choice. Some people say they have more control and traction when they are barefoot. Other sources claim that driving barefoot could be more dangerous because of a lack of traction and the chance of distractions caused by driving barefoot.
It could be safer to slip off slip high-heeled shoes or flip-flops. A driver’s foot may slip out of a flip-flop, and the small portion of a high-heeled shoe that is on the pedal may not provide enough control or traction.
Another example might be heavy work boots. Heavy work boots could become lodged between the pedals, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
Some drivers keep “driving shoes” in the vehicle to wear while they are driving. Driving shoes are generally flat shoes that have excellent traction. The person changes into their other shoes when they arrive at their destination.
Can Driving Barefoot Cause a Car Accident?
There are many reasons why car accidents happen. There is a possibility that driving without shoes could cause a crash. As discussed above, trying to put your shoes back on or moving your shoes out of the way could result in a distracted driving accident. If your foot slips off the pedal, the result could be a head-on crash or rear-end collision.
You can be held liable for financial damages caused by an accident that is your fault. What matters is whether the accident victim can prove that you caused the crash.
If the evidence proves you were at fault, you could be liable for the victim’s damages, including:
- The cost of medical care and treatment
- The cost of personal care and assistance with household chores
- The amount of lost wages and benefits, including future wages and decreased earning potential
- Scarring, disabilities, permanent impairments, and disfigurement
- Pain and suffering caused by emotional distress, physical injuries, and mental trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life and decreased quality of life
The value of a car accident claim depends on many factors. If your liability insurance does not cover the value of the accident claim, you could be sued for damages. A judgment for a car accident case could result in additional collection efforts.
How Can You Avoid a Car Accident?
You might not be able to avoid a car accident caused by another driver. However, there are things that you can do to avoid causing a car crash.
Tips for reducing your risk of being involved in a car wreck include:
- Avoid distracted driving, including texting while driving, using your cell phone, eating, grooming, and daydreaming
- Never drive when you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Always follow speed limits and reduce speed to accommodate various driving conditions, such as poor road conditions, congested traffic, and adverse weather
- Do not drive aggressively or recklessly
- Allow distance to give yourself more time to stop
- Leave in plenty of time to reach your destination without rushing
- Do not drive when you are drowsy or exhausted
- Be cautious when passing large trucks to avoid a truck accident
- Do not weave in and out of traffic and leave plenty of room when passing other vehicles
Wear your seat belt and ensure all passengers and children are secured in a safety seat or safety belt. Wearing your seat belt may not prevent a car crash, but it can reduce your risk of severe and catastrophic injuries.
If you are involved in a car wreck, call 911 for help. Try to document the accident scene with photographs and videos. Seek medical attention for your injuries, and contact a car accident attorney for advice regarding your legal right to compensation for injuries and damages.