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Why Driving In High Heels Is Never A Good Idea

Driving Tips
jason-baxtorJason Baxter

We probably shouldn’t tell you this, but there are no laws in Canada against driving in high heels. However, you should know that, if high heels are the cause of you losing control of your vehicle, they may be a contributing factor to charges of careless driving.

But you’ll never be charged with “driving in high heels” – at least under current legislation. While we’re on the subject, it’s also a myth that you can’t drive barefoot or in flip flops. 

But that doesn’t make any of them a good idea.

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Drive in High Heels

Almost to a person, professional driving instructors will tell you that thin rubber-soled shoes, not too stiff and not too flexible, with a proper fit, a closed toe and without a raised heel, are the best shoes for driving.

If you’re looking for the first clue about why you shouldn’t drive in heels, it is that high-heeled shoes are about as far as you can get from the perfect footwear for driving.

While many female drivers will swear they can drive at least as well when they wear heels as when they don’t, they’ve probably only driven in heels under normal driving conditions. But the basic reason why you shouldn’t wear high heels is that they reduce your ability to control the vehicle in an emergency situation. Here’s why that happens.

  1. Lack of Pedal Grip – The sole of high-heeled shoes do not offer the kind of pedal grip needed if you need to slam on the brake pedal, or the accelerator, to get out of an emergency. When your foot moves quickly in response to the emergency, your foot’s contact with the pedals may not be solid, and it may slip off.

  2. Unstable Anchor Point – When your foot is off any pedal in high heels, the only thing connecting it to the floor of the vehicle is the tip of the heel. In many emergency maneuvers, the vehicle may need to swerve to avoid a collision. The sudden shift in direction can destabilize your foot, making solid peal contact difficult or impossible.

  3. Can Get Caught in the Floor Mat – While the floor mat can get in the way at the best of times, a high heel can get stuck to an extent that will reduce your ability to enact pedal responses when you need to make an emergency move.

If none of those reasons convince you to never drive in high heels, perhaps this one will. It’s bad for the shoe. Not only do you put lots of pressure on the heel, at an angle it wasn’t designed to tolerate, but you can scuff the back of the heel.

Find out more about what bad driving habits might cost you in our post “What is the Penalty for Dangerous Driving?”.

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