When I was first learning to drive, I recall my parents telling me to put shoes on when I got behind the wheel. (Being from the country, sans footwear was my go-to.)

I always assumed their request for me to wear shoes was because it was against the law to drive barefooted.

Somehow, this dilemma came up in a conversation with a co-worker recently. Knowing that I now have something called the "internet" at my disposal, I figured I'd look it up and solve this lifelong mystery.

So, is it illegal to drive barefoot in Louisiana?

The short answer -- no.

Actually, in no state is it illegal to drive barefoot. So, yes, it's perfectly legal to drive just like Fred Flintstone did.

The only thing we could find is that in some states when driving a motorcycle (or just riding one), bare feet were not allowed.

Laws against driving barefoot have long been an urban myth.

There was a man named Jason Heimbaugh who sought to set the record straight. So, in the summer of 1994, he wrote to a DMV in every state to ask whether or not driving barefoot was legal in each jurisdiction.

Gradually, Jason would get responses from each DMV and the answer was a resounding yes. It's legal to drive barefoot in every state and has always been the case.

But that doesn't make it too wise.

Is it safe to drive barefoot?

I think you know the answer to that.

While it may not be legal, driving barefoot isn't the best or safest option. It's recommended that you use proper footwear while operating a motor vehicle. Driving barefoot can decrease a driver's control over the vehicle.

Driving barefoot can:

  • Reduce your braking force
  • Diminish traction compared to wearing shoes, especially when your feet are wet
  • Be a distraction for some drivers
  • Lead to a higher chance of seriously injuring your feet in the case of an accident

What kind of shoes should you wear or not wear when driving?

A closed-toe shoe with good traction is your safest option.

On the flip side, the worst options are high heels or flip-flops. You may be better off going shoeless because your shoe could get lodged under the pedal or slip off.

I know I've experienced that a time or two while wearing flip-flops.

The bottom line with this discussion, wear your shoes...or don't, you rebel.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.





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