THIS week many residents have been enjoying some of the hottest days of the year.

But if you're heading out in the car, you might want to re-think your choice of shoes before getting behind the wheel. 

Under Rule 97 of the Highway Code, drivers are advised they must have 'footwear and clothing which does not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner'.

Flip flops could slip off your foot, become wedged under pedals or prevent you from pressing the pedals which could cause you to drive erratically or even result in a crash.

If you get stopped by police while driving in a dangerous manner or your footwear is a reason for an accident, you could be charged with driving without due care and attention.

The careless driving fine carries a £100 fine and three penalty points on your licence.

If a more serious case, or it gets contested in court, the charge can attract a maximum £5,000 fine, up to nine penalty points and even a court-imposed driving ban.

A study by insurance brand ingenie previously found 27 per cent of motorists could be risking this penalty as they wear flip flops behind the wheel.

An RAC spokesman added: "It is not illegal to drive in the UK without shoes on.

"You can get behind the wheel of a vehicle barefoot or while wearing flip flops, provided you are able to operate the controls safely.

"If you do so with wet feet, for example, you might be putting yourself, your passengers and other road users at risk by not being able to drive the car safely. This is illegal."

According to the Driving Standards Agency, the body that regulates the UK driving test, suitable shoes are particularly important behind the wheel.

A spokesman added: "We would not recommend driving barefoot because you don’t have the same braking force with bare feet as you do with shoes on.”

The RAC also has some basic guidelines you should follow when selecting footwear to drive in.

Your shoe should:

  • Have a sole no thicker than 10mm…
  • … but the sole should not be too thin or soft.
  • Provide enough grip to stop your foot slipping off the pedals.
  • Not be too heavy.
  • Not limit ankle movement.
  • Be narrow enough to avoid accidentally depressing two pedals at once.

An RAC spokesman added: "It’s important to have a good base and grip to apply pressure to the pedals, but you need a certain degree of finesse to manipulate the controls.

"If not, you could strike the brake and accelerator together, producing a heart-in-mouth incident.

"If your selection of footwear hampers you, you’re putting yourself at risk."