Could Driving In Jeans Land You A Fine?

Tue 21st Sep 2021

Whether you believe you are making a fashion statement or are simply a fashion victim, our wardrobe choices before getting the behind the wheel of a car could be more important than you might think.

A report from leading motor insurance brand CarMoney has listed the ‘seven common clothing items’ which risk us breaking the law if driving, and some of the strange garment choices might have us scratching our heads.

According to Rule 97 of the Highway Code, ‘the clothing and footwear you choose to wear whilst you are driving must not prevent you from using the controls in the correct manner.’ Falling foul of these fashion faux-pas could land you a £100 on the spot fine if you are thought to be driving carelessly, and even three penalty points. In the worst case scenario that could rise to a £5,000 fine, nine points and even a ban.

Some of the ‘common clothing items’ may seem obvious, for example wearing flip-flops and sliders may seem like a good idea for the beach, but generally any shoe with a sole thinner than 10mm is classed as unsafe. High-heels are also a risky choice when driving, as are slippers, particularly open-backed styles.

But the most unlikely item on the list is baggy jeans, with the CarMoney report claiming: ‘If your jeans are too baggy they are likely to be unfit for driving in, meaning you could be penalised. It’s been thirty-one years since Madness released their smash hit, so baggy trousers might just be past their prime.’

The company’s advice on shoes is worth noting though, with CarMoney Managing Director Alastair Grier saying: If you are planning on driving somewhere where the dress code is smart, we recommend you take a change of sensible shoes for the car ride. If your shoes do not provide enough grip to stop your foot from slipping off the pedals then they are classed as unsafe. Footwear when driving should be narrow enough that it cannot accidentally touch two pedals at once.

“The price of your car insurance is also going to increase dramatically if you are involved in a car accident, and you were behind the wheel in inappropriate clothing that forced you to drive carelessly.”