Flip flop on safety: Sandals a danger?

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 A DANGER BEHIND THE WHEEL: Driving in flip-flops might seems convenient for beach-goers but can put you at risk behind the wheel. Image: SHUTTTERSHOCK ~ Shutterstock
Crash avoidance and bringing the vehicle to a sudden stop requires not only effective brakes, but also the ability to react swiftly and apply adequate pressure to the brake pedal.

Despite this awareness few drivers pay enough attention to the footwear that would best enable them to control their vehicles safely! In a recent survey many female drivers confessed that their choice of what to wear is based on what goes best with their outfit rather than what is the safest footwear to drive.

Thousands of South Africans will head to the beach this holiday season. Many however will forego appropriate footwear in favour of flip-flops.

Why driving in flip-flops is (very) dangerous:

1 Flip-flops do not offer adequate ankle support, resulting in the foot slipping off the pedal or missing the pedal altogether.
2 Flip-flops have a tendency to come off easily and become jammed/trapped under a pedal.
3 Pedals caught between the sole of your foot and the flip-flop leads to a reduction of control to the vehicle.
4 Inability to brake effectively as wearing flip-flops increases the amount of time it takes to brake. Flip-flops hinder a driver’s ability to the apply the brakes and release the clutch or accelerator.
5 Drivers can be distracted by attempting to retrieve a flip-flop that’s jammed or fallen off his/her feet.
6 Similar to driving barefoot, flip-flops leave the feet exposed in the event of a crash. While footwear is unlikely to prevent these injuries, a decent pair of shoes may assist in reducing injuries in less serious crashes.
7 Sweat on a hot summer's day can lubricate flip-flops - creating the possiblity that you brake foot will slip sideways in an emergency stop.

If a suitable pair of shoes is not available, it will be safer to remove the flip flops and drive barefoot.

Check out the dangers of various types of footwear:
Driving in high heels and platform shoes
Driving barefoot

For more information, visit Arrive Alive.