For I don’t know how many years, people have been circulating the story that there are some places hither and yon where it’s illegal to drive barefoot, you doofus, at least go put on a pair of flip-flops. Actually naming these places, for some reason, never happens:
There are no federal or state laws that prohibit driving a car without shoes. But state laws may be different for other types of motor vehicles like motorcycles. And local jurisdictions may also put their foot down when it comes to driving barefoot.
While driving a car barefoot may technically be legal, law enforcement officers generally don’t recommend it because of safety concerns. For example:
- Driving barefoot could make it more difficult to drive. “We don’t recommend it because your feet can slip off the gas pedal,” a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles told the Naples Daily News.
- Barefoot drivers’ discarded footwear could also possibly get stuck under a car’s pedals, impairing the ability to brake or accelerate.
The issues get a little more complicated if you’re barefoot up to your chin:
We were surprised to find little consensus on whether it is actually illegal to drive naked. There don’t seem to be many laws on the books that specifically address nudity in cars vs. nudity in general. One rule of thumb: It’s probably OK to drive naked, but only if no one else sees you.
That’s because indecent exposure means “to purposefully display one’s genitals in public, causing others to be alarmed or offended,” according to FindLaw. It’s not always necessary to prove the intent to offend others, either. If you do so recklessly, that counts.
The Oklahoma law reads similarly, although an exception is carved out for the person taking a leak off the back porch.
One thing I have learned is that people don’t forget this stunt once it’s been pulled, even four decades after the fact.