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Think twice before you wear your flip-flops while driving
Follow-up to concerns about traffic at Primmer House and Leeland roads in Stafford

Date published: 4/19/2010

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By Kelly Hannon

FLIP-FLOPS have come under attack of late.

Every summer seems to bring out the anti-flop activists. They're bad for your feet, podiatrists say. You probably shouldn't wear them to a formal White House ceremony honoring your lacrosse team, as college students from Northwestern University found out in 2005.

A recent letter to the editor pointed out that flip-flops are not the safest choice for driving if they slip off your feet and you can't locate the brake. True.

But are they legal to wear while driving?

Yes. Flip-flops are legal driving footwear in Virginia.

While we're on the topic of feet: I had always assumed it was illegal in Virginia to drive in your bare feet.

I was wrong.

"There is no law against it," said Melanie Stokes, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles spokeswoman.

Still, while it's legal, I can think of times when driving barefoot or in flip-flops could cause a few problems. You crash, and have to walk across broken glass, jagged metal and scalding-hot asphalt in August in bare feet. Or, perhaps more dangerous than driving in bare feet, your flip-flop slips off your foot and you reach down to find it while driving the car.

Stokes did say DMV considers driving in flip-flops unsafe, since it can make it difficult for drivers to use the brake and gas.

So wield the power of the flip-flops responsibly this spring and summer.

Just because we can wear them doesn't mean we always should.

Dear Kelly: Recently, in the letters to the editor section of The Free Lance-Star, a reader wrote in great detail about the problems drivers face when they attempt to turn from Primmer House Road onto Leeland Road in Stafford, especially when the Virginia Railway Express lots empty out on weekday evenings. It is absolutely crazy and dangerous out there. The lines are even longer when inclement weather closes Harrell Road, and more cars use Primmer House to get to Deacon. Please follow up on that letter. Thanks.

--Penny Parrish, Stafford

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