Is It Illegal to Drive Barefoot in California?

Is It Illegal to Drive Barefoot in California?

What if you’re not wearing shoes when you drive? Is it illegal for you to do so in California?

The short answer is no. Contrary to the common belief by many Californians that it is an offense, there are no federal or state laws against driving without shoes or socks on your feet.

But let’s face it; driving barefoot is risky on many fronts. For instance, it’s easy for bare feet to become sweaty and slippery, leading to dangerous situations like missing the brake pedal while trying to avoid hitting other cars. Also, operating pedals barefoot increases the risk of cuts, scrapes, blisters, and abrasions.

Most importantly, we owe a duty of care to other motorists and road users, especially pedestrians. So, while it may be legal to drive barefoot, it is still advisable to wear proper footwear.

Contact LA Century Law to discuss a car accident case in California where another motorist may have violated that duty of care to you.

Dangerous Types of Footwear When Driving

While several types of footwear are generally considered safe to wear when driving, some may pose more significant risks than others. Here are three types of footwear that should never be worn while driving:


Flip-flops are one of the most popular footwear for casual use at home or on the beach. But they’re also among the worst footwear for driving. They don’t offer much protection and tend to slip off easily, making them unsafe to wear while driving.


Sandals are another type of shoes often worn during warm weather months. While they are usually less expensive than sneakers but offer less protection. That means they’re vulnerable to damage and slipping off easily.


Crocs are a popular clog-like footwear brand that has been around since the 1980s. They’ve gained popularity over the years because they’re comfortable and durable. However, crocs are also pretty challenging to drive in because they don’t provide any support for your feet. This makes them prone to slipping off easily.

How the Lack of Proper Footwear Makes It Challenging to Operate Pedals

Driving with bare feet isn’t just about being careless or reckless. There are specific reasons why operating pedals barefoot is dangerous.

  • Susceptible to sweat: When driving barefoot, the feet will likely be sweating. And when sweat gets between the toes and pedals, it can be a hassle to control the vehicle. This makes it more challenging to control brakes or gas pedals, especially when driving fast.
  • Increase injury risk and distractions: Operating the pedals barefoot for a long time may lead to blisters, cuts, and scrapes. These injuries can cause pain and discomfort, which could distract you from safely driving the car.

Liabilities for Causing an Accident in California

If you or your loved one are involved in an accident caused by someone else who was not wearing proper footwear, you may be able to recover damages under California law. But to have a valid claim, you would need to prove that the person who wasn’t properly dressed was negligent. Negligence refers to failing to act reasonably under the circumstances.

So you must prove that:

  • The at-fault driver had a duty to operate their vehicle safely, i.e., wearing proper footwear
  • The driver breached this duty
  • The driver’s acts (or failure to act) led to the accident
  • The accident directly caused your injuries and monetary losses

We acknowledge that proving fault in a car accident case is pretty complicated, considering California is a comparative negligence state. However, having an experienced personal injury attorney by your side eliminates the hassle since you will be assured of relentless representation as you focus on recovery.

At LA Century Law, we understand how important it is to get compensation after suffering severe injuries due to another party’s negligence. We know what it takes to win a personal injury lawsuit and work hard to help our clients obtain justice. If you or someone close to you has suffered injuries due to the negligence of others, contact us today for a free consultation.

Here is a quick outline of what to expect when you hire our determined and dedicated Los Angeles personal injury attorneys:

  • Thorough investigations: We will thoroughly investigate the facts surrounding your accident to build a strong case against the responsible parties.
  • Conclusive evidence collection: Our team of investigators will gather all relevant information about the incident, including witness statements, police reports, medical records, insurance documents, etc.
  • Comprehensive legal analysis: After collecting all the necessary information, our lawyers will analyze the situation and determine if there are any grounds for filing a civil suit.
  • Expert witness testimony: We will identify and interview witnesses present during the event, such as eyewitnesses, emergency responders, and other drivers.
  • Negotiation of settlement offers: Once we have enough evidence to file a claim, we will negotiate with the other party’s insurer to reach a fair settlement offer.
  • Aggressive yet guided representation: If we fail to strike a fair deal with the at-fault party’s insurer, we will take the matter to court and fight for maximum damages.

Contact LA Century Law If You’ve Been Injured in a Crash

LA Century Law is a team of dedicated and determined personal injury lawyers committed to helping injured people throughout Southern California. Our goal is simple: to provide each client with the best possible outcome through aggressive advocacy and negotiation.

Our firm represents victims of auto accidents, motorcycle crashes, pedestrian accidents, slip and falls, dog bites, defective products, and many other personal injury cases. Contact us online or call us for a free initial consultation.

Barefoot Driving FAQs

Under what circumstances can driving barefoot get you in trouble?

As much as driving barefoot in California attracts no penalty, it graduates to an offense in case of an accident or road disturbance.

What if I’m hit by a motorist who’s driving barefoot?

If you’re involved in a collision with a driver who was not wearing shoes, you may be able to sue them for causing your injuries.

Are high heels dangerous for driving?

Yes! Driving in high heels can cause balance issues that lead to accidents.

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