Watch Your Heels At The Wheel

News that women are risking losing control of the car because they are wearing high-heeled shoes while driving may seem far fetched, but a survey by Sheila’s Wheels, the insurer, has backed it up.

Apparently 65 per cent of women want “better guidelines” about what to wear in the car.

Like many things, the Highway Code is a source of good advice and includes this:

  • ensure that clothing and footwear do not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner.

But I think it’s fair to say that not every female driver has a copy of the Highway Code in her handbag.

The footwear issue though is just one of the possible hazards at our heels.
For example, a loose tin of drink, or an apple rolling around in the driver’s footwell might be something we ignore to start with. But either of those could potentially end up lodged under the clutch pedal, or worse still, the brake pedal. Then when the driver needs the controls, they are not available.

And also on the footwear theme, flip flops are popular in summer, but again, not really very pedal friendly for drivers: they may not have the high heel problem, but they are looser than our usual footwear and are more inclined to slip off the pedal.

A patch of petrol or diesel on the ground can get picked up when we get back in the car after paying for fuel - potentially making soles slippery.

And older vehicles quite often have worn rubbers on the pedals which are worth a look. If you can see metal showing through, that’s too shiny for comfort and the rubbers should be replaced. A combination of damp shoes from a summer downpour, and “shiny” pedals are putting you and other road users at risk.

4 July 2007 Staff

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