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  • Writer's pictureAlex Maltese

Is It Legal to Drive Barefoot in NY?

As much as the question seems surprising, it is a commonly observed myth that people consider driving barefoot in the streets of New York to be illegal. There is no such law against driving barefoot in New York, but it is preferred to drive with shoes on due to safety concerns. Not only in New York but also in different countries, the law remains the same; that is, driving barefoot is completely legal. Here is a detailed perspective on the topic.

What Makes People Think Driving Barefoot in the NY State Is Illegal?

What Makes People Think Driving Barefoot in the NY State Is Illegal?

People can attach multiple reasons to thinking barefoot driving is illegal. Some of the origins of the misconception could be:

  • Most people drive with shoes on. It is not common to see anyone driving barefoot, leading to the perception that it is not legal.

  • In some countries, the police do not allow driving barefoot as a preventive safety measure, which could be another reason for supporting the myth.

  • Another factor could be the made-up stories that people listen to during the driving lessons, where slipping the foot over the pedal led to an accident.

  • Moreover, it is a common belief that, if someone gets into an accident and is found to be driving barefoot, they will be considered liable for reckless driving.

Is It Safe to Drive Barefoot in NY?

Even though driving barefoot is completely legal in New York state, it does not make it a safer option. Therefore, it is suggested not to drive barefoot as a safety measure.

  • Wearing shoes while driving is preferred because it helps in giving a rigid and firm grip on the pedal, which in the case of driving, barefoot will not be. It may lead to slipping off the foot, resulting in an accident.

  • Driving barefoot can also give a feeling of discomfort, which may become a cause of distraction- a not-so-preferred activity while driving.

  • The application of the right amount of force on the brake or accelerator may be affected.

  • There is also a higher chance of the foot getting injured while driving barefoot.

Who Will Be at Fault for Driving Barefoot?

In states with dense populations and heavy traffic regions, it is suggested to obey all the traffic rules and take every preventive measure possible to minimize and reduce the chances of getting into an accident or avoiding any personal injury.

If a resident of New York fails to do so, they are considered negligent and will have to comply with compensation which in some cases affects the individual's driving credits.

Although it is legal to drive barefoot in New York, people can still be held negligent if driving barefoot has resulted or somehow contributed to causing an accident. This could also be taken as a benefactor point and be used against the person involved, by the insurance companies, to reduce their pay in the case. If you have been involved in an accident at no fault of your own, contact a car accident attorney in Long Island.

Barefoot Driving: Is It Dangerous or Safe?

This is a topic of controversy and will be substantially backed by numerous contradicting opinions.

Some could say wearing shoes and driving is a much safer option than barefoot driving, as it prevents slipping of the foot on the pedals of the brake or accelerator. Others could cite that the right amount of force could not be applied with barefoot driving, which may result in an accident.

On the contrary, those supporting barefoot driving can put forth their proponents. Some would suggest that driving barefoot gives them the ability of a better grip on the pedal, which might not be in the case of shoes, as they might get slippery or wet. Others would suggest that there are chances of shoes getting stuck beneath the pedals, especially in the case of high heels or sandals, which may result in losing control over the vehicle.


To conclude, it is not illegal to drive barefoot in New York state. On one hand, driving with shoes is considered a better option, but for others, driving barefoot also is a safe option. The shoe or footwear the person chooses to wear while driving plays a key role in their safety and prevention of accidents.

Proper sneakers or athletic shoes are considered the best footwear for safe driving. It becomes vital for all drivers to know the myths and the traffic rules appropriately to avoid any problems with the law. In case of any legal problems, hiring a legal firm for help will always be the best option. They can help navigate road-safety laws and address questions such as if lane splitting is legal in NY or if it's illegal to jaywalk in NY.


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