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Driving barefoot - what the road traffic regulations say about it

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From bussgeldkatalog.org, last updated on: April 11, 2021

Driving a car without shoes: allowed or forbidden?

Especially in summer when the thermometer rises and the body temperature also rises, closed footwear is almost unbearable. Many therefore switch to flip flops, they simply cannot stand the heat of their locked feet.

The particularly daring stroll through the city barefoot. But what about driving a car? Is it allowed to drive a motor vehicle without shoes? Or is it forbidden to drive barefoot?

There may be Legally required footwear when driving a car? In the following article we will address these questions.

This article provides information on the subject "Driving barefoot". Which provisions are there for Driving with flip flops you can find out in our guide: “Is it allowed to drive with flip-flops or Birkenstock sandals?”

FAQ: Driving barefoot

Is it allowed to drive a car barefoot?

In principle, the legislature does not prescribe motorists which footwear they have to wear when driving. It is therefore initially allowed to drive a car without shoes.

What can you expect if you are involved in a traffic accident and go barefoot?

If you could have avoided the accident by wearing suitable shoes, you may have been awarded partial debt. However, this is always an individual decision.

Which shoes are suitable for driving?

In general, it is advisable to wear sturdy shoes when driving, which cannot slip off your feet and which are closed. Otherwise road safety could suffer.

Can you drive a car barefoot in Germany?

The most important thing when you participate in road traffic is that you are not endangering anyone. So always should driven with mutual consideration become. Which rules have to be complied with is regulated in traffic law by various ordinances. Probably the best known is the road traffic regulations (StVO). It includes, among other things, the traffic rules to be observed.

Is it also listed here whether barefoot driving is allowed? No. The Road Traffic Regulations do not specifically stipulate what type of shoes your feet must be dressed inso that you can move a motor vehicle. That means:

That is barefoot driving Basically permitted by law. You will be checked by the police in a general traffic stop is therefore neither a fine nor a driving ban or points can be expected. So it is Higher Regional Court of Celle confirmed in one of its judgments from 2010 (Az. 322S s46 / 07). However, this is possible only good as long as nothing worse happens. If there is an accident, things look very different.

What if an accident happens?

Driving a car without shoes is not as easy as it sounds, after all the feeling is completely different, for example the stability leaves a lot to be desired. So it may be you due to the lack of profile of the shoes, do not step into the irons as quickly and strongly and be able to depress the pedals. A rear-end collision happened quickly this way.

Warning: If you are driving a car without shoes and are involved in an accident, then partial debt can result from this, because the necessary care was not shown (Higher Regional Court Bamberg, Az. 2 Ss OWI 577/06). In this case it is Payment of a fine is quite possible. In addition, there may also be quarrels with the fully comprehensive insurance.

Anyone who drives a car for work, for which other guidelines often apply. The Accident prevention regulations can stipulate that “footwear that surrounds the foot” must be worn.

Driving barefoot in Austria - is that allowed?

And what about driving barefoot on vacation? Allowed or forbidden? For example, is it allowed to drive barefoot in Austria?

This is also the case in the land of coffee house culture Driving without shoes is not prohibited. The following also applies here: Who did not wear suitable shoes or driving barefoot in Austria Becoming part of a car accident for which he is partly responsible faces fines.

As a rule, it is not just a mistake that leads to an accident. What matters is whether it is Negligence or willful misconduct acts. Driving barefoot can quickly be interpreted as negligent. So you have not been careful enough to perform your duties. This is also measured by the extent to which the insurance pays for the damage incurred.

Can you drive barefoot in Switzerland?

This is also the case in Switzerland Driving barefoot or with flip flops is popular with many - especially younger - people. A survey found: During Men drive more often in the car without shoes are driving Women more often with loose shoes. The potential risks that result from driving a vehicle without shoes are not taken into account.

The Swiss Traffic law does not per se prohibit driving barefoot. The Road Traffic Act writes in Section 31 however, that the Vehicle must be able to be controlled at all times. There is only one answer to the question “Is it allowed to drive barefoot?”: Yes, as long as no accident is caused. If you hit a car in Switzerland without shoes on your feet, you have to expect a criminal complaint, the withdrawal of your driving license and the payment of a fine of several hundred francs. You will also get into conflicts with the insurance company, as you can be accused of negligent behavior.

How should shoes be made that are well suited to driving a car?

Certain footwear can be a hindrance when driving a car. These include, for example Flip-flops that can become wedged or mountain boots that lack the necessary sensitivity when pressing the pedals.

Experts therefore point out that the Choosing the right footwear pay attention to the following:

  1. the shoes cover the entire foot, are closed,
  2. they are made of a solid material,
  3. they are comfortable, do not squeeze,
  4. they are thinly soled with rubber.

If drivers don't feel like walking around with shoes all day long, even in the heat, just because they are driving, it is worth considering to store suitable shoes in the car and only wear them while driving. Once you have got from A to B, you can quickly go back to the airier sandals or flip flops.

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25 comments

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  1. Hello, I wanted to ask if you have to expect a penalty if you have an accident with about 3 per thousand and commit a hit-and-run. Just happened to me. Thank you for the answers

  2. What is correct in this article: Riding barefoot is not prohibited!

    Otherwise: Why should a profile (!) In the shoe sole increase the speed and strength of the brake actuation?

    I've lived barefoot for over 13 years - always, even in winter! - In the previous decades as often as possible, and during this time I drove more than 500,000 km barefoot - without ever having an accident as a result.

    On the one hand, I have a lot more feeling barefoot (you don't drive with thick mittens, which would be comparable!), On the other hand, I can't get stuck with any sole edge, and I also have less mass to accelerate and brake again.

    A shoe is neither a brake booster (so why should I be able to build up less pressure without it - apart from the fact that all cars have long since had servo brakes, sometimes even brake assistants) nor a guarantee that they will not slip, on the contrary!)
    If you were to forbid going barefoot, you would consequently have to create a standard specification for the nature and design (e.g. coefficient of friction) of the permitted footwear - I would say that I “stick” to the pedal better than many a shoe wearer)

    In summary, I claim that it would be rather negligent for me to drive with footwear (which of course does not apply to barefootedness that is completely unfamiliar ...

    • i also go barefoot all year round and claim that i'm worse or less sensitive on the pedals with shoes. since i drive children to school i wear shoes while driving ...... .. what a shame

  3. I agree with Mr. Barfüsser and Mr. Thomas M.!
    For me it is understandable that the arguments mentioned above are applicable to people who wear lighter shoes - or even none at all - for driving.
    I've only been walking barefoot for more than eight years, exceptions are work and winter. The above arguments seem to me to be poorly constructed in such a context.
    Someone who walks barefoot over gravel, gravel and the like cannot be deterred from a courageous step on the brake pedal if necessary.

  4. That is funny! My name is also Thomas M and I rode a few hundred thousand kilometers barefoot. I agree with that. It's all a matter of habit.

  5. I have been driving barefoot cars for 55 years since the beginning of my “driving career”, unless there is snow or I have official appointments without a “shoe-related” accident. The feeling for the pedals and the pedal pressure is much better than with shoes. I have no inability to press the pedals firmly. When I look at the shoes of women who got out of their cars and used them to drive a vehicle, I just shudder. Actually, after every accident, the shoes worn should be examined to see whether they are suitable for driving a vehicle at all.

  6. Doesn't there have to be a causal connection in order to be able to get a partial debt? You are definitely not assigned a blame per se or in general because of missing shoes in the event of an accident.
    However, if the causal connection exists, one can possibly even get a full blame. Missing footwear does not protect against sweat, especially in summer. And if you then slip, there are real problems.

    • Hello Georg,

      it's best to walk barefoot for a few days. You can actually sweat while doing this, but the amount of sweat is rather small. If you have set temperatures in your car like those in a sauna, this is no longer the case, of course, but at such high temperatures you tend to have a problem with concentration.

  7. Perhaps the colleagues from the police should be trained in this regard. In my circle of acquaintances and friends there were several fines because they drove barefoot.

    After long days on tour, I will continue to ride without shoes.

  8. I've been riding barefoot for a few years now. And personally, I find it more of an advantage.
    1. Barefoot I can feel exactly when the clutch starts to slip.
    2. I feel or notice much better how far I have to press the brakes down until the rest of the body also receives feedback that the car is slowing down.
    3. I can operate the pedals noticeably more discreetly and sensitively with my whole foot or only with my toes. Because barefoot you can immediately feel how the car behaves in conjunction with the pedals.
    4. Maybe I imagine this, but whenever I drive barefoot in my car, I feel through direct contact whether something is wrong with my car (feedback from the pedals is restless), or whether the car is satisfied.
    5. Especially in a traffic jam, as mentioned, I can control the pedals more sensitively with my whole foot or just my toes, I notice the slip point of the clutch earlier, can accelerate more carefully, and when braking, my toes are only enough to push the brakes down that the car comes to a gentle stop.
    6. On long journeys, even light brand shoes will become uncomfortably heavy on your feet at some point. Sometimes the feet also cramp up. This has never happened to me barefoot, even on longer journeys.

    My pedals have a rubber cover. Even without ventilation of the footwell, I have never slipped barefoot on the pedals because the sole of the foot also adapts / integrates to the pattern of the pedals, which has happened to me many times with some shoes with smooth soles. The topic of the risk of slipping is therefore more of a mystery to me.

    Likewise, I've never got stuck barefoot on the pedals anywhere. With shoes, whether branded sneakers, expensive patent leather shoes (for special occasions), S3 safety shoes, ... I've got stuck somewhere at least once or accidentally bumped something. I don't understand the dangers of wearing tightly enclosed shoes against barefoot.

    In short, shoes tend to limit me and, in my experience, are “more dangerous”.

  9. I've only been barefoot for 28 years and mine with shoes has as little feeling as with very thick gloves. Don't wear shoes either and you will agree with me.

  10. I don't want to blame anyone here, but I'm wondering why this looks almost like the question of whether meat eater or vegan? Why do so many write that it is more dangerous with / without shoes?
    It should be phrased differently: Both can have advantages.
    Contrary to some statements, even on longer journeys, I never have the problem that my shoes are too heavy or something similar. Sure, depending on the shoes it is possible to get stuck somewhere. And I also agree that (in summary) you can feel the vehicle better without shoes, but you don't like driving without shoes yourself.

    I don't want to deny the sensitivity with the shoes, that's a fact. I myself wear shoes with a relatively flat sole, but one that has a hard core and thus transmits the vibrations of the pedal very well. Not all shoes are the same, so I think the comparison to thick gloves is a bit exaggerated.

    For example, I think “Pro shoes” for emergency braking (and in my opinion the discussion should be more structured around this topic, since normal driving is a matter of getting used to): Such braking must be done quickly with pressure and that is physically easier with shoes, because the entire pressure that is built up with the entire foot can be transferred to the brake pedal via the shoe sole, while without shoes “only” the pressure on the pedal arrives, which is passed on to the ball of the foot. (It's not much, I know. But if I don't touch someone or something about “it's not much”, that's enough for me.)
    However, I find that barefoot is a lot better and more effective than flip-flops or high heels, for example.
    My conclusion: if shoes, then right shoes -> all or not at all.

  11. There is exactly ONE reason to have shoes in your car:
    If there is glass on the street (e.g. accident).
    Then (but only then) it would make sense to have “emergency shoes” in the car.
    ……
    On the other hand, you then have so much adrenaline in your blood that the glass crumbs no longer bother you.

  12. My name is also Thomas M. and I've been barefoot for about 73 years and have already covered a few kilometers by car.
    You just have a better feeling of driving barefoot.

  13. I also really enjoy riding barefoot on longer stretches. It has already happened to me that I slipped off the clutch pedal while wearing shoes. I also caught the brake and accelerator at the same time once. Fortunately, always without consequences.
    This has never happened to me barefoot. I think that if you like to ride barefoot more often, you have more control down there.
    The problem will be that if there is an accident that individual insurance companies try to steal from liability.
    Because it is a bit wishy-washy from the legal text.

  14. I absolutely agree with the barefoot ...
    Nobody no law can forbid me whether I should put on shoes or not? such nonsense even the question of whether it is allowed to wear sandals / barefoot is insane ... or want to question the oxygen breathing soon or with how many people you should have sexual intercourse or not ?????
    Barefoot is the most natural thing in human existence or does it wear gloves all year round? is the same
    Ey comes in Europe so much is questioned or asked what one may or may not, that is too brutal
    in other countries you don't even begin to think the question - you just do it
    I only ride barefoot in warm temperatures or with barefoot sandals who wants to forbid me?
    I still breathe, there is also the question of whether you can breathe in the car? Jaaaaaaa now sounds foolish for many the sentence ??? It also sounds foolish to me to EVER ask whether one is “allowed” to go barefoot or not

  15. Hello,
    Until a few years ago I also drove a car regularly. In the truck, barefoot, I had a much better sensitivity than with these rigid work safety shoes. the question shouldn't be whether barefoot or closed shoes but whether barefoot / closed shoes or open shoes, because honestly, in my opinion and experience, one slips out of open shoes rather than barefoot / shoes off the pedal. and whether I am wearing closed shoes or barefoot doesn't change anything about an accident, nor could it have prevented the accident.
    and accident prevention regulations ... how many euro pallets fall on my feet while driving? How many pallet trucks / forklifts are driving in front of my feet during the journey? of course, when i left the vehicle i wore shoes, proper work safety shoes (normal ones for cars when i was at work). I consider flip-flops and high-heeled shoes to be much more dangerous.

  16. I generally drive barefoot in a car or bike, but since I almost always walk barefoot, in the event of a sudden braking I have at least as much strength as with shoes, which I always perceive as foreign bodies and which are in direct contact with the ground (whether the ground or pedal) are just in the way. In all other situations without shoes I have a much better feeling when tapping the pedals (gentle acceleration, gentle braking). Of course, this also applies in all other situations, e.g. when climbing. In contrast to riding barefoot, I find riding with loose shoes (which can easily get tangled in the pedals and from which you slip your foot out rather than slipping off the pedal barefoot) or with high-heeled shoes (where the optimal angle of the ankle is on the the pedals are tuned, no longer correct, in order to press the pedals with force if necessary) much more dangerous.

  17. Unfortunately (as it is almost common with this topic ...) everything similarly is lumped together - in the section about Switzerland, “barefoot” and “with flip flops” are the same. In contrast, the typical scenario in summer is that you take off your fluttering flip-flops to have more grip on the pedals!

    Fittingly, the cited judgment from 2006 is also of little use: It is about a truck driver who drove on SOCKS. Well, everyone should know from school sports what the difference is between socks and barefoot: the former slips without end. Before that, by the way, the same was justified with a judgment on muddy rubber boots from the 1950s - the same problem there too.

    The fact that sandals should be put under “potential punishment” somewhere here fits in with this - although these are legal and completely common even with professional drivers. The regulation says nothing of “closed”, but of “enclosing the foot” (read: cannot fall off.

    So let's get to reality:
    * Every few decades there is a judgment that there could be a fine if you have something slippery on your feet. But nothing has really been imposed.
    * To really barefoot (= neither mud nor cloth or anything else between foot and pedal) there has never been any procedure.

  18. I also go barefoot more often and find the argumentation too far-fetched and incomprehensible
    I would say that there has not yet been a single judgment in which this was judged as the cause of the accident or a circumstance promoting the accident

    On the contrary: I tend to have problems with shoes. When switching between accelerator and brake, I've often got stuck with the sole on the brake pedal (sideways) and was only able to brake later (different shoes have soles of different thicknesses and different lateral protrusions of the sole - and you change shoes sometimes during the day) . Of course, I don't wear heels.
    In addition, I had problems in some vehicles due to my shoe size (46) - it is sometimes difficult to ONLY step on the accelerator pedal and not accelerate and brake with your right foot between the center console tunnel and the brake pedal. I think that was the case with the Terios 15 years ago (company car) - I often accidentally activated the indicator with my knee (when coupling).
    So far I have driven over 500,000km with over 50 cars (14 of them own) - Ukraine, Gibraltar, Scotland, Syria etc.)

    I claim: I have more feeling when I push bare feet.

  19. I also ride barefoot more safely and with less fatigue.

    With the note at the beginning that one must reckon with partial blame in the event of an accident, it seems to me to be similar to “You need a warm meal a day” or “Children are not allowed to go to school without breakfast” or “If you move through or wet hair in winter gives you a cold ”or“ you mustn't eat food that has fallen down, otherwise you will get sick ”and and and

    All bourgeois, unproven, parroted or allegedly common sense claims / views - sometimes typically German ...
    Unfortunately, this knowledge does not help the court, because only the average sits there (average-philistine-know-it-all and decides ... (I am an honorary judge myself)
    I drive and still go barefoot :)

  20. Hello everybody!

    I am a passionate barefoot all year round and should I get into trouble in the event of a traffic accident by trying to assign part or all of the blame to me, I would do EVERYTHING to remove all guilt from me (assuming of course that I would otherwise did not make a mistake that led to the accident, then that is a different matter), because if I was not to blame for the traffic accident, but you hang yourself by my barefoot, then you should, no: you have to prove to me first that the accident could have been prevented WITH shoes and THAT should have been difficult, especially since it has not required a lot of force for decades to even apply an emergency brake, because cars have now had a brake booster for so long that it would be difficult to still to find a car that doesn't have one, maybe a vintage car from the 60s, maybe even an early 70s!
    As my name brother already wrote about me: barefoot you have a much better feeling for the pedals, the fine motor skills are much better, because I have also driven cars where the pedals were very close together and so it happened that when I was When I stepped on the clutch with the inside of the left shoe, the brake came slightly, so that the car jerked a little bit, but barefoot this has not happened to me yet. I'm not a size 46, but size 42, but it was still enough to cause impairments.
    In the barefoot forum, in which I was actively involved for many years, that was a topic again and again and links were copied in from time to time that led to pages where you could read the essentials, I know it like above described that professional drivers have to wear footwear that tightly encloses their feet, even a taxi driver from Berlin who is still active in this forum has to wear shoes, so it is stipulated in the traffic law and you cannot squirm out of it / talk out of it whether it always makes sense is a different matter, as is the case with many things.

    Best regards,
    Andreas

  21. Hello Georg!

    Even though your post is older, what you write is simply NOT true! Here is my fact: where there are no shoes, nothing can sweat, in any case I've never slipped off a pedal with bare feet because my feet were about sweaty (sweaty and stinky feet only get sweaty if you wear closed shoes in the heat) with slippers , on the other hand, they have smooth soles, especially when the ground was wet with rain!

    greeting


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