Every state in the country is responsible for passing laws designed to keep drivers, passengers, and pedestrians safe on the nation’s roads. One thing many people are curious about when it comes to driving is whether or not it is legal to drive barefoot. While the answer to this question differs from state to state, there is good reason people ask it.

For one, some people might find driving barefoot more comfortable, especially after a long day of wearing tight or uncomfortable footwear. Others might feel they actually drive better when they are barefoot and want to be at the top of their game when operating a machine that weighs a ton and travels at high speeds. 

Because it is important to follow all driving laws no matter which state you are driving in, you should familiarize yourself with all pertinent driving regulations in your state.

Can You Drive Barefoot in New York?

The short answer is yes, you can drive barefoot in New York. There are no laws on the books in the Empire State that prohibit barefoot driving. If you’re pulled over for something else and the police officer notices you are barefoot, they cannot issue you a ticket for barefoot driving because it isn’t against the law.

However, just because something is legal doesn’t always mean it is advisable. Some people believe that driving barefoot is actually more dangerous than driving with shoes on. If that is the case, while you might not get a ticket for driving barefoot, if there is a car accident, and the other party or their insurance company finds out you were driving barefoot, they could make the argument that your barefootedness contributed to the accident, thus making you at least partially liable.

Why You Might Not Want to Drive Barefoot

New York is a comparative negligence state, meaning that the damages you can seek from an accident can be reduced by the percentage you were at fault for the accident. For example, if you were 30 percent to blame for an accident then the damages you could seek would be reduced by 30 percent.

While it might sound ridiculous to you at first to be held liable for something that is legal, if you think about it a little longer it begins to make sense. If you were doing another activity while driving that is legal, such as taking a sip of coffee or taking a bite of a sandwich, and while distracted by those activities caused a collision, you would be at least partially at fault for the accident and would see the potential amount of damages you could receive lowered.

The same is true for driving while barefoot. Because it is a controversial issue, if the other party or their insurance company finds out you were barefoot or that by being barefoot you contributed to the accident, you could see reduced damages or even be required to pay out damages to the other party.

What To Do if You Are in an Accident While Driving Barefoot

If you have been in an accident while driving barefoot, or have been injured in an accident where the other party was driving barefoot, the first thing you should do is seek appropriate medical care as soon as possible.

At the scene of the accident, it is also important to obtain all relevant copies of accident reports or witness statements that can help later on should evidence or documentation be needed. It is also crucial that you never admit fault at the scene of an accident or to an insurance adjuster. If you do, it could have profound implications for how the rest of the case plays itself out.

It is wise after an accident to contact a qualified personal injury lawyer who will understand your rights and help you maximize your settlement. Even if you are later found to be partially at fault for the accident, you can still be entitled to significant damages and will benefit from the expertise of a lawyer who specializes in representing car accident victims. 

Your lawyer will also help you put together your case in a persuasive way and even further investigate the case if needed. After an accident, the last thing you need is additional stress and hassle. Trust your case to a seasoned personal injury lawyer who will fight for your rights and help you seek justice.