Traffic offences, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and speeding, are common knowledge. However, there are certain traffic laws that are not so well known. For instance, have you ever wondered about whether it’s illegal to drive in thongs in Australia? Are there laws in place that tell us what type of footwear is considered acceptable while driving? Are you unknowingly breaking the law simply by wearing the wrong footwear when you drive?
Driving in Thongs – What the Law Says
Technically, it is not illegal to drive wearing thongs. Having said that, you need to keep in mind that if an accident does occur while you’re behind the wheel, and it is deemed that inappropriate footwear was a contributing factor, then you could be in line for a Traffic Offence.
While they’re not illegal, it needs to be noted that thongs just don’t provide the best grip on the pedals. There’s also the risk of them getting jammed underneath the pedals. Why risk your own safety and that of others on the road?
So, Is Driving Barefoot Safer?
The follow-up question to driving in thongs is whether it’s better to drive barefoot? What if you simply chucked your thongs and drove barefoot? Is that a safer option? Well, there are conflicting opinions on this. While advocates of barefoot driving claim that it is the safer option, many others disagree. Driving barefoot may require you to exert more pressure on the clutch, as opposed to wearing comfortable shoes that make it easier to distribute the pressure evenly.
According to the Australian Road Rules 2008, rule number 297 states that the driver should have proper control of a vehicle and take the necessary precautions to drive as safely as possible.
What’s the Best Option?
While there are no specific laws in place as far as footwear and driving are concerned, it makes sense to be smart and drive safely. The best option is to wear comfortable footwear that will not hinder your driving in any manner. This means no thongs, no high heels or other such footwear that could be a driving hazard. Whether you’re hitting the beach or going out someplace fancy wearing impractical shoes, keep a pair of comfortable shoes in your car. Wear them while driving and change into your other footwear once you reach your destination.