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DMV News Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, April 08, 2013

DMV Encourages Motorists to Wear Safe Footwear While Driving
Warmer Temperatures Can Lead to Dangerous Driving Habits

RICHMOND - As the weather gets warmer, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is reminding drivers that proper shoes play a big part in safety.

Drivers should wear safe footwear that does not have an open heel such as flip-flops or sandals because these types of shoes can slip off and wedge under accelerator or brake pedals. High-heeled shoes can also be problematic because heels can get caught in or under floor mats and delay accelerating or braking when needed. Driving in bare feet, socks, or stockings can also be dangerous causing your feet to slip off the gas or brake pedals. While wearing certain types of footwear while driving or driving barefoot is not illegal, vehicle control can be compromised, and it is not recommended

Sneakers or low heel flat shoes are encouraged. Consider keeping an extra pair of good driving shoes in your car to wear while operating your vehicle. DMV cautions drivers to be extra careful in wet weather as slippery soles make it easier for your foot to slip off the pedals.

"Our employees see it all the time,¿ says DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb. ¿Our customer service representatives who conduct road tests have seen flip-flops and sandals come off and get stuck under the gas or brake pedal. Fortunately, we have not had any tragic situations, but that is what we are trying to prevent."

A number of crashes linked to wearing flip-flops made headlines across the country in 2012. In May of last year, a Kentucky woman claimed her flip-flop got stuck on the gas pedal causing her to crash into a building. Also in May, a similar story in Tennessee after a customer crashed into a drug store. Police said her flip-flop was entangled with the gas pedal. In June, a man crashed into a Washington business claiming his flip-flop got stuck.

Two years ago, in April 2011, tragedy struck in Voorheesville, New York when a driver lost control and drove through a church vestibule, killing three elderly women. The driver told investigators his flip-flop fell off while driving.

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