March 10, 2021 | Ohio Law
It is the responsibility of every citizen to know, understand, and obey the laws in the area they live. This is especially true when it comes to driving—where ordinary people operate 5000-pound vehicles traveling at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour and possibly even higher.
In the state of Ohio, there are dozens of major traffic laws each and every driver learns and obeys when they are on the road. These laws range from the legal blood alcohol content for drivers to what the penalties are for driving while distracted by a smartphone.
When a driver fails to follow these laws and others like them, not only can they face serious legal consequences, but they can endanger their lives and the lives of other drivers and passengers.
One area of the traffic code that is perpetually shrouded in mystery is whether or not it is legal to drive barefoot. Numerous rumors abound that it is illegal and those who do so could be ticketed or worse.
Can You Drive Barefoot?
It is time to put the rumors about driving barefoot to rest. Currently, it is not against the law to drive barefoot in Ohio or any other state. While there are laws about seat belts, smartphones, and speed limits (for good reason) the Ohio legislature (and the lawmakers around the country) have refused to ban driving barefoot.
The reason for this is simple. While some argue that it is more dangerous to operate a motor vehicle while barefoot, others maintain that it is actually safer to do so. Because the issue is contested and no convincing proof exists one way or the other, lawmakers have been reticent to dive too deeply into the issue of footwear and driving.
You Still Might Want To Think Twice
However, just because something is legal doesn’t mean it is right for you. If you feel you drive better when you are wearing shoes, then it is probably best you wear shoes when you are behind the wheel. This holds true for different types of footwear as well. If sandals, high heels, or other kinds of shoes make it more difficult for you to safely operate your car, then you should wear the shoes that allow you to drive safely.
Despite being legal, driving barefoot can have unwanted consequences.You can legally do a number of different things while driving like adjusting the rear view mirror or putting a new disc into the CD player. But if doing so causes you to strike another vehicle or a bystander, you could be in trouble.
Even if you aren’t found guilty, you could still be liable and have to pay significant sums of money to the other party. If you drive better with shoes on, then you should wear shoes when driving.
Knowing the Law
Finally, knowing that an officer can’t charge you for driving barefoot is important to remember in case you get pulled over or questioned by law enforcement. In the heat of the moment, it can be stressful to face questions from the authorities. That stress is compounded if you think you have done something wrong.
When you know it is within your legal rights to drive barefoot, it will help you remain calm if you are driving barefoot and have to talk to an officer.
If you are facing legal issues because of driving barefoot or for any other traffic-related incident, you might also want to contact a qualified criminal defense attorney. A good lawyer can advise you of your rights and help you navigate legal issues related to driving.