Last updated: September 2022

Is It Illegal to Drive Barefoot? How About Shirtless?

Maybe the weather is nice, you’re in a hurry, or you’re just popping over to a fast food joint a few miles away. Driving barefoot is tempting, or even driving in flip flops or without a shirt. But before you do, check to see if it’s legal in your state—doing so might help you stay safe and ticket-free!

Is it illegal to drive barefoot?

Contrary to popular belief, no! It is not illegal to drive barefoot. No states in the U.S. have road laws against driving without shoes. But, keep in mind that driving barefoot rather than driving with shoes can lessen the grip and control you have on the pedals, which could lead to an accident.

Many states still “advise” that drivers don’t drive barefoot due to the safety hazards it can present. If you do choose to drive barefoot, make sure your shoes are not sitting on the driver’s side floorboard, as they could get lodged under the pedals.

So, is it illegal to drive without shoes? No. Is it safer to drive while wearing shoes? Yes!

Is it illegal to drive in flip-flops?

This one isn’t technically illegal, either. But is it safe? Think about it this way: the whole point of wearing flip-flops is to be able to slide your shoes on and off easily. For the beach? Great! For driving when you need total control of your feet? Not great! You may not get a ticket for driving in bare feet or in flip flops, but there are sure to be consequences if your footwear (or lack thereof) leads to an accident on the road.

Is it illegal to wear headphones while driving?

Driving while wearing headphones is legal in Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Mississippi, but illegal in Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, and a handful of other states. Some states that prohibit headphones make exceptions for communication devices or speakers that are built into motorcycle helmets, so check your state's laws.

Are you allowed to drive shirtless?

Technically, there are no laws that specifically prohibit topless driving (for any gender). However, in some states, driving without a shirt on may qualify as obscene or indecent exposure, so it’s a good idea to verify the laws in your area before you strip down and buckle up.

Is driving with your interior lights on actually illegal?

Contrary to what your parents used to tell you, driving with interior lights on is not illegal. It is, however, dangerous. Interior lights can cause a reflection or glare in the windshield or side windows, compromising the driver's ability to see potential hazards on a dark road. Play it safe and keep interior lights off while driving at night.

Is it illegal to drive without insurance?

No shirt, no shoes, no insurance—it’s not a winning combination. It’s illegal to drive without car insurance (unless you're in Virginia or New Hampshire). Fortunately, Direct Auto Insurance offers cheap car insurance to help keep you protected.

Regardless of whether a specific driving behavior is legal or illegal, safety is your top priority. Will your headphones present a distraction? Will your shirtless shenanigans keep your (or others') attention away from the road? Some driving habits may not seem like a huge risk, but erring on the side of caution has its perks—like the potential for a safe driving discount on car insurance and a decreased accident risk.

Is It Illegal to Drive...
Barefoot No
In Flip Flops No
While Wearing Headphones Yes, but only in some states
Shirtless Maybe
With Interior Lights On No
Without Car Insurance Yes, in most states

Have questions about driving or auto insurance laws in your state? Our local insurance agents know the rules of the road.


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