Avoid invalidating your Car Insurance this autumn and winter
British autumn and winters are usually wet, windy, muddy and snowy affairs and this year isn’t set to be any different. When out and about in soggy conditions, you will likely want to protect your feet against the elements with a good old pair of wellies, or at least a sturdy set of walking or snow boots. But, when you’re done for the day and preparing for the drive home, do you change your shoes into something less bulky? Many of us don’t.
The problem is your car insurer(s) may refuse to pay out on your claim if you are found to be wearing heavy boots or wellies covered in water or snow. The reason behind this is that such attire is deemed as inappropriate footwear for safe driving. Your boots could get stuck to or slip on the pedals, giving you less control of your vehicle.
Research from Aviva last year found that 13% of drivers have driven in wellies. While it isn’t illegal to drive in them, it’s worth remembering that rule 97 of the Highway Code states motorists should ensure “clothing and footwear do not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner”.
Road safety and breakdown recovery organisation, GEM Motoring Assist, has the following advice: “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 peddles when driving. This could cause a serious accident if control of your car is lost.
“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. Correct footwear makes driving a lot less hazardous. Wellington boots can also make it more difficult to control your feet and movement on the pedals.”
Donning appropriate footwear
So, what footwear should you be wearing when you drive?
The AA recommends:
- Soft shoes
- Thin sole
- Slight grip
- Not chunky
- Basic flat shoe or trainer.
Your best bet is to always to keep an appropriate pair of shoes in your car, so you don’t get caught out. The AA also recommends you don’t drive barefoot or in flip flops, as this doesn’t give you the full control you need.
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