A new study out of the United Kingdom says that most women drivers, at least part of the time, drive in high-heel shoes. The practice, according to the report, is unsafe under any conditions.
Unsafe footwear behind the wheel
Nearly 80 percent of women responding to a survey by the United Kingdom price comparison website Confused.com said they have driven in inappropriate footwear.
Forty percent admitted to wearing high heels behind the wheel. Another 39 percent said they wear platform, wedge heels or slippers. None are considered safe driving-wear by most experts.
According to the report, women 24-35 are the worst abusers.
Keep driving shoes in car
Gareth Kloet of Confused.com said in a statement:
“Wearing inappropriate footwear could cause the driver to lose control of the car and so we’d recommend keeping a pair of suitable shoes in the car to avoid any crashes. Look at your feet; if you are wearing shoes which you would not wear for a driving test then you probably shouldn’t wear them to drive either.”
Why heels are dangerous
The reason heels are so dangerous when driving, said Matt Reilly, director of the charity Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe — or BRAKES — is that a safe driver plants his or her heel on the floor of the vehicle, where it is easy to move the foot from brake to gas pedal and back again. High heels make this efficient movement extremely difficult, if not impossible.
Automotive columnist Lauren Fix said:
“Women have been driving in high heels for years. Part of the problem is that they are wearing these six-inch spike heels with these new risers on the bottom. So you’re not getting a good feel of the pedal.”
Twenty-five percent of the 2,000 motorists surveyed also admitted to driving while wearing pajamas at some point in their driving careers.
Men’s footwear can be dangerous, too
The report did not just target women. More than one quarter of the men surveyed admitted to wearing flip flops when they drive. Experts say they are at least as dangerous as the high heels, because they can slip off and become wedged under the pedals.
“Flip flops are worse than heels in my opinion.”
And both sexes get the blame when it comes to driving barefoot. Twenty-two percent of those surveyed admitted to the practice, which is against the law in England.
US drivers take heed
There has not been a similar study of American drivers, but does anybody believe the results would be much different?