Flip Flops and Accidents: A New Menace to Drivers

Distracted driving has come to the forefront as a danger to drivers and passengers in every type of vehicle imaginable. The term distracted driving generally refers to careless use of cell phones and other devices, as well as any other activity that takes the attention of the driver from the road.

A rarely discussed type of distracted driving has to do with wearing flip flops while operating a vehicle. While they have been recognized as a hazard for drivers, having been instrumental in a number of accidents, it still remains legal to wear them while driving.

In-depth Studies

Though they rarely show up in national accident statistics, studies have shown that there is a connection between wearing flip flops and car accidents. For instance, one study found that around 1 in 9 drivers has blamed flip flops for near miss or actual accidents amounting to 1.4 million each year.

Over one third of those surveyed admitted to wearing flip flops while driving on a regular basis. Approximately 27 percent of these drivers also admitted that footwear was the cause of some driving related mishap. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has estimated that accidents due to pedal misapplication happens at least around 15 times each month. Aside from getting caught in the pedals, driving in flip flops also is known to slow breaking time by 0.13 seconds, more than enough time to cause an accident. In fact, researchers have said that driving in flip flops is far more dangerous than driving in high heels.

Preventable Accidents

In the city of Orlando, Florida, flip flops are commonly embraced as a part of the beach lifestyle that lasts year round. In fact, flip flops are a major source of revenue for shopkeepers all over the city. They are also acceptable attire in most restaurants and entertainment establishments, which could explain why they are also worn so much while driving. Shore communities like Orlando and those in California, as well as cities like New Jersey during the high season regularly host a great number of people wearing flip flops.

The fact that many of these people are unfamiliar with the roads also raises their accident risk substantially when they also wear flip flops, especially considering that they could also be driving a rental car that they are also less familiar with.

These incidents have caused car accident attorney Orlandofirmstowork even harder to aid victims in resolving the legal labyrinth surrounding cases where flip flops are the culprit.


All Too Common Fatalities

The NHTSA has said that it has no specific count for footwear related accidents. As a result, there is no law concerning wearing flip flops. So far, several fatalities have been reported with regard to flip flops.

For instance, in 2010, a bicyclist was killed near Orlando by a pickup truck after the driver’s flip flops were tangled in the pedals. In Virginia, after a flip flop became wedged under a gas pedal, three pedestrians were killed in 2011. Unfortunately, all that has occurred since then is that the states typically warn drivers not to wear open footwear due to accident hazards. Approximately 227,000 vehicle accidents were reported for the state of Florida in 2011.

While there are no statistics in Orlando that relate specifically to flip flops, it has been demonstrated that they do pose a hazard while on the road. Therefore, those visiting and living in Orlando should consider wearing appropriate footwear while driving in order to prevent unfortunate and unnecessary accidents, many of which could easily become fatalities.

Jamica Bell is a blogger and avid wearer of flip flops. After hearing cases where these accessories were at fault for causing accidents, she researched to find out if this was myth or fact. Fortunately, her flip flops have not caused her to be in an accident, but her research has found that car accident attorney Orlando firm Steinger, Iscoe, and Greene are dedicated to defending the legal rights of victims involved in a car crash.

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