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Road safety and breakdown cover company, GEM Motoring Assist, have advised drivers (women drivers in particular) to think about their footwear before getting behind the wheel this winter. GEM claim that women drivers are so concerned with keeping their feet warn during the big freeze that they’re taking risks with their choices of driving footwear.
Although fashionable footwear like Ugg boots and Hunter wellies are a staple at this time of year, there are fears over how suitable they are for driving.
David Williams, CEO of GEM Motoring Assist, talking about Ugg-style sheepskin boots, explained, “We know that fashion dictates which winter boots are popular this season, however, many of them don’t offer enough grip and could cause your foot to slip off or in between the pedals when driving. This could cause a serious accident if control of your car is lost.”
Wellington boots – such as increasingly popular, Hunters – also came under fire, with GEM stating the heavy rubber makes it difficult for drivers to control their feet. This could, of course, cause accidents if a motorist can’t manoeuvre their feet on the pedals, as they could potentially lose control of the car.
Last October, assistant headteacher, Vera Baxter, lost control of her Volkswagen Golf in Manchester after her Ugg boot became stuck on the pedal, meaning she was unable to brake. She swerved straight into the path of an oncoming Mercedes, causing a head-on collision. The driver of the Mercedes suffered whiplash, whilst Mrs Baxter had to be treated for cracked ribs and internal bruising.
Mrs Baxter was consequently arrested and charged with dangerous driving. She was fined £350 and banned from driving for four months.
Mr Williams explains, however, that there are ways for fashion-conscious women drivers to keep their feet warm and dry whilst still being safe behind the wheel: “Always keep a sturdy pair of shoes in your vehicle for driving, ideally ones that can be fastened securely or laced up, and with a good grip on the sole.”
Footwear may not be the first thing which comes to mind when you think of road safety, but it’s crucial that you think about what’s on your feet before getting in the driver’s seat. Make sure you have good grip on the pedals, that your footwear fits properly, and can fit between the pedals without getting stuck!