What changes are being made to the Highway Code?
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Warm and water-repelling shoes and boots are a staple for the latter part of the year, with the ‘chunky’ trend still very much in full force. However, motoring experts at Scrap Car Comparison have warned that many of these on-trend pairs could actually land drivers with a hefty fine if they are found to be wearing them while behind the wheel.
According to Rule 97 of the Highway Code, any driver getting behind the wheel of a vehicle should ensure that clothing and footwear do not prevent them from using the controls in the correct manner.
In terms of footwear specifically, it’s crucial for drivers to be able to have full control of their pedals, especially during the winter months when road surfaces could become slippery.
Any driver that ignores this rule could be committing a CD10, CD20 or CD30 offence, falling under the umbrella of ‘Driving Without Due Care and Attention’.
The consequences of committing one of these offences are a fixed £100 fine and three points on the driving licence (or education seminar as an alternative if appropriate).
However, in the more serious cases where a driver is summoned to court, they may face fines of up to £5,000, nine penalty points, and even complete driving ban.
Dan Gick, Managing Director of Scrap Car Comparison, said: “As we all know, autumn and winter in the UK can be very wet, muddy and cold, so having footwear that will keep our feet warm and dry is essential.
“However, many of us want to try and do this while slotting in some of the latest trends to really bring our outfits together.
“Although it can be fun to play around with trending footwear, and the current ‘chunky’ trend in particular, it’s not worth risking your control while driving for these shoes.
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“It’s always better to be safe than sorry in the winter months, especially as wet, windy, and icy weather can create much more hazardous driving conditions than we’ve been used to over the summer months.
“It may seem unnecessary to some but keeping a spare pair of shoes in the car, such as some basic trainers, is the best way to ensure you’re never caught out with improper footwear behind the wheel.
“Not to mention, it’s also a simple way of helping to keep your car clean – any wet or muddy shoes can be removed before driving and put in a bag in the boot, so it’s really a win-win!”
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) provides drivers with advice on what shoes they should wear.
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- Have a sole no thicker than 10mm
- Be with a sole that is not too thin or soft
- Be Not be too heavy
- Not limit ankle movement
- Be narrow enough to avoid depressing two pedals at once by accident.
With this in mind, experts at Scrap Car Comparison have compiled a list of some of the season’s top trending footwear that falls on the wrong side of these guidelines.
UGG Classic Ultra Mini Boot
These cosy winter boots have come full circle and are back on trend as one of this winter’s top footwear choices, due to their casual look and super soft sheep wool interior lining. However, they may not be the best shoes to wear while driving, as the sole is nearly an inch thick, considerably deeper than the recommended 10mm from the DVSA.
Dr Martens Jadon Boot
Dr Martens boots are an ever-popular choice of footwear during the winter months, with their leather exterior perfect for ensuring feet stay dry in wet weather. However, like the UGG Classic Ultra Minis, the soles are much thicker than recommended for driving, at 1.85 inches or even higher at 2.2 inches for the Max version.
Yeezy Desert Boot
A brand that shot to fame thanks to its founder Kanye West, Yeezy shoes have become well known for their chunky soled designs, and this boot is no different. In addition to the chunky soles, these rugged boots feature a more walking boot style design, with the boots and lacing extending up and around the ankle – as a result, this could restrict ankle movement and make even them more unsuitable for driving.
Prada Monolith Leather Loafers
Although not a boot, the Prada Monolith Loafers have seen a surge in popularity with more than 1.7 billion views of videos about the fashionable shoes on TikTok, making them a bucket list purchase for many people this autumn/winter. Similar to the Prada boots in the same range and other ‘chunky’ loafers on the market, the shoes are in part characterised for their maxi sole, measuring a whopping 60mm tall – great for anyone looking for a bit of extra height, but not so good for wearing behind the wheel at over six times the height recommended.
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