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Posted on April 24, 2020 in Arizona Law

Is it Legal to Drive Barefoot in Arizona?

The debate about driving barefoot never seems to be settled. Some people believe that driving barefoot is dangerous. However, other people believe that driving barefoot allows you to have a better grip on the pedals, which can be safer.

Regardless of what you believe, the question is whether you can receive a traffic ticket for driving barefoot in Arizona. The answer is not likely. No state law in Arizona makes it illegal for you to drive barefoot. You are free to slip off your shoes and drive your vehicle.

Even though you are not committing a traffic violation by driving barefoot, could you face other consequences for driving barefoot? It depends.

Why Shouldn’t You Drive Barefoot in Arizona?

You have a duty of care to other drivers and individuals on the road to operate a motor vehicle safely. If you are reckless or negligent in causing a traffic accident, you could face charges of reckless driving. You could also face civil penalties for causing an accident.

If you are barefoot, it could make it more difficult for you to keep your foot on the pedals. If the pedals are wet, your feet may not have the slip resistance to stay on the pedal. A small slip of your foot could cause you to accelerate suddenly or fail to brake in time to avoid hitting another vehicle or a person.

To be fair, some people claim that driving barefoot is safer than driving with shoes. They claim that you have better control because you have full sensory feedback when your feet are bare.

Some Shoes Could be More Dangerous Than Bare Feet

Wearing certain shoes could make it more dangerous to drive than driving barefoot. Flip flops can come off while you are driving. They can also become hung on the pedals.

Likewise, some heavy, large boots could get stuck between narrow pedals. High heel shoes can also be a problem. The bottom of the shoe does not have the same surface area, so less of your foot is on the pedal.

In most cases, athletic shoes or sneakers that fit snugly are considered safe driving shoes. If you are wearing shoes that could increase you to lose control of the vehicle, you may want to change shoes before driving. Keeping a pair of driving shoes in the car could solve the problem.

Accidents and Driving Without Shoes

If you are involved in a traffic accident while driving without shoes, the same process is involved in determining who caused the accident. Police officers investigate to determine if either driver’s actions contributed to the cause of the accident. If your foot slipped off the brake pedal and you crashed into the car in front of you, you could receive a traffic ticket and be responsible for damages caused by the rear-end collision.

On the other hand, if the other driver was responsible for causing the crash, the fact that you were barefoot at the time of the accident should not be a factor in recovering compensation for injuries. If the fact that you were barefoot at the time of the car accident comes to light, the insurance company may try to use the information to argue you contributed to the cause of the accident.

Insurance companies try to limit liability for damages caused by a car accident. They use any information they discover to try to deflect blame for the accident from their driver to you or another party. If an insurance adjuster believes he can successfully argue that you are partially responsible for causing the collision because you were barefoot, the adjuster may attempt to do so to reduce the value of your accident claim.

If the insurance company proves that your actions contributed to the cause of the car crash, the compensation you are entitled to receive for your injuries and damages may be less because of the comparative fault laws in Arizona.

The Decision to Drive Barefoot is Your Decision

The decisions we make when driving a vehicle can impact other people. Whenever we get behind the wheel of a car, we can place others at risk because of our driving decisions. The decisions we make could cause someone to be injured in a car accident.

When deciding whether to drive barefoot, consider all factors. Just because it is not illegal does not mean you should do it. Make sure that you are not acting recklessly or increasing the risk that you could cause a traffic accident. The goal when driving is to keep yourself and all others on the road safe.