Driving with flip flops in Germany may be a serious flop

by Amanda Palumbo
Stripes Europe

Summer is here which means sundresses, shorts and the world’s most contentious shoe, the flip-flop. What you may not know about everyone’s favorite toe-thong shoe, it dates all the way back to 1,500 B.C. with the ancient Egyptians. Another fun flip-flop fact you may not know, German auto insurances may not cover any cost in the case of an accident, according to the ADAC, Germany's automobile club. Fit for Drive Kaiserslautern, one of Kaiserslautern's largest driving school said, "Driving in flip-flops may be allowed, but if there is an accident, it can be a matter of complicity. For this reason, it is advisable to wear sturdy shoes while driving." Whether police will fine you for not wearing appropriate footwear ranks among the urban myths as it also depend on the situation the driver is in. According to German Law, you can be fined 35 euros or more for careless driving, inappropriate footwear included in the case of an accident. Insurances will more than likely lower the percentage of the coverage or will ask for an increased deductible.  

While it may seem like a silly law, keep in mind flip-flops pose a real danger while driving. British insurer, Sheilas’ Wheels, did a 2013 study which showed a third of UK drivers wore flip-flops, 27 percent said they caused some sort of mishap and seven percent admitted to a near miss or an accident while flip-flopping behind the wheel. The company also sites simulator studies which showed breaking was 0.13 seconds slower and moving your flip-flop donned foot from the gas to the break was twice as slow. 

Insurance companies recommend keeping a pair of driving shoes in your car, something flat and flexible with a sole that can grip the pedals and won’t slide off. If you’re super pretentious, there is a company that makes actual driving loafers which will run you 625 dollars. 


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