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Is Driving Your RV Barefoot Illegal?

Sometimes you just want to kick off your shoes and give your little piggies some fresh air, but it’s not always the best time or place to do so. Many drivers take off their shoes while driving, especially on long road trips. However, there seems to be quite a debate regarding the legalities of driving barefoot.

Today, we’ll explore whether you can legally drive an RV barefoot. Let’s dive in!

Is It Illegal to Drive Barefoot? 

Despite what you may have heard, currently, no state has any legal restrictions regarding barefoot driving. This has become such a widely misunderstood fact that some state Department of Motor Vehicle materials specifically address it. 

Driving barefoot
No, it’s not explicitly illegal to drive barefoot, but there are plenty of reasons to avoid it.

However, while they point out that it’s not illegal, they typically don’t encourage it. They encourage drivers to always wear footwear conducive to driving and won’t cause a distraction or get in the way.

Can You Get Fined for Driving Without Shoes? 

You cannot get a fine or a citation from law enforcement for something that’s not illegal. However, if your barefoot driving causes an accident, that’s another story. Some barefoot drivers involved in accidents have received reckless driving citations.

Whether your bare feet played a role in causing the accident doesn’t matter. In reality, you likely would have received the citation whether you were barefoot or not. You can challenge the ticket in court, but it’s not going to be easy.

➡ RV accidents are awful! Find out the 5 Most Common Causes of RV Accidents (and How to Avoid Them).

Driving & Off-Roading in a Truck Camper, Thoughts After 6 Months On The Road | Go North Explore More

How Did the Misconception that Driving an RV Barefoot Is Illegal Start?

Misconceptions often pass from generation to generation without anyone challenging them. This is common for some that just make sense. In most circumstances, wearing shoes while driving is safer and more effective. 

However, just because something makes sense doesn’t make it legal. Most people interpreted the recommendation to wear shoes while driving as a legal requirement, and the myth gained momentum.

However, in the 1990s, Jason Heimbaugh began to challenge the legality of driving without shoes. He wrote letters to DMVs in all 50 states inquiring about the legal status of barefoot driving. He received a reply from every one. It surprised him to learn that it was legal in all 50 states.

Driving a Class A motorhome
Whether you’re driving a motorhome or towing a travel trailer, it’s essential to exercise caution and choose footwear that is comfortable.

So if you enjoy driving barefoot, you have Mr. Heimbaugh to thank for clearing up any confusion. Still, it’s not always the best idea to do so.

Are you a risky driver? Find out if you’re at risk of accidents and higher insurance premiums!

Why Is Driving Barefoot Discouraged?

It is the job of local law enforcement and officials with the DMV to promote safe driving practices. They want to minimize accidents and keep you and other drivers safe. 

When you wear the proper footwear, you maximize your foot’s contact with the pedals and reduce the chances of your foot slipping. Additionally, if you need to get out of your RV in a hurry, you don’t have to worry about slipping your shoes back on. 

pressing gas pedal with tennis shoes
Your best bet is footwear that fits securely and makes good contact with the pedals.

Officials would rather you plan accordingly and have appropriate footwear than take a chance with driving barefoot.

Pro Tip: You might be tempted to kick off your shoes to make long road trips more enjoyable, but there are safer options. Read our top tips here: 10 Simple Ways to Make RV Driving Days Not Suck.

What Types of Shoes Are Best for Driving Your RV? 

When it comes to the best shoes for driving an RV safely, you want comfortable snug-fitting shoes. Shoes too tight will leave you in pain, and shoes that are too loose can fall off or slip off the pedals. 

Ones that tie or velcro minimize the chances of them loosening as you move from pedal to pedal. Shoes less ideal for driving your RV often include sandals, high heels, and other loose-fitting or slip-on shoes. 

However, for some, driving stocking-footed or barefoot is more comfortable for long trips, which you typically do in an RV. If this works for you without distraction, then you can do so knowing that you’re doing nothing wrong in the law’s eyes

driving with sandals
While it’s common for people to wear sandals while driving, they are more likely to cause issues than shoes that lace up or have velcro straps.

If you decide you need to remove your footwear while driving, don’t leave them on the driver-side floorboard. Place them in the passenger seat or somewhere out of the way, so they won’t get jammed under one of the pedals.

Is Driving Your RV Barefoot Safe? 

People in the RV community have likely driven their RVs countless miles while barefoot. If they were involved in an accident, there’s very little chance it was a direct result of them being barefoot. 

Do we encourage you to drive barefoot? Not necessarily. Much like the DMV and your local law enforcement, we encourage you to have the proper footwear for safety. 

Class A motorhome

Do you drive a big rig like a Class A motorhome or fifth wheel? We know it can be a nail-biting task at times. Before your next road trip, read 10 Ways to Make Towing a Big Rig Less Dangerous.

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About Tom and Caitlin Morton

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of “Go North” on Amazon Prime Video, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for and an Arizona travel guide.

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Not So Free

Sunday 13th of February 2022

It is in VA. In fact, there are idiots in LE who actually wrote up a paraplegic guy for driving his open Jeep without shoes. Get that? Paraplegic? Hand controls? Totally nuts.