Have you ever thought about how the clothes you wear impact your driving? You’ve certainly learned about driving responsibly and all the important measures you need to take to stay safe behind the wheel from your instructor when you were taking driving lessons, but information fades away with time and you might have forgotten some of the things you’ve been told. And even if you’ve just finished driving school and all the lessons are fresh in your memory, we’re pretty sure most instructors often forget to talk about the importance of dressing appropriately while driving with their students.
If no one told you by now, you need to know that your clothing choices count when driving as it can have a direct impact on your safety. If you come to think about it, that makes perfect sense. You pay attention to the clothing items you pick and the safety gear you need when you’re getting ready to ride a bicycle or a motorcycle, so you should do the same when it comes to driving. We’re not saying you should create a separate wardrobe with driving attires since you’re not preparing for an F1 race, but you do have to be sensible about choosing your outfits if you’re going to get behind the wheel.
The last thing you want is to get into a car accident because your OOTD was not suited for driving purposes. Even if you were not entirely at fault for the crash and you have the option to file a car accident claim to cover the damages – which you can read more about at https://www.accidentclaims.co.uk/personal-injury-compensation/car-accident-claims – prevention is always preferable to cure.
So, if you want to minimise the risk of car crashes as much as possible and enjoy safe and comfortable rides, here’s what you need to keep in mind clothing-wise.
Choose comfort over style
You might want to look and feel your best in any given situation, but your car is not the best place to put on a fashion show. This means that if you know you’re going to get behind the wheel at some point during the day, you should choose your clothes based on comfort and function, not fashion. It’s up to you to decide which clothes you feel most comfortable in, but as a rule of thumb, you should avoid tight garments and opt for looser fits that allow you to move freely instead.
But what if you’re going to a party and you are the designated driver? You can’t show up wearing sweats and sneakers to a fancy event, but you don’t want to put your safety at risk either by wearing high heels and a gown that restricts your movements. You need to be able to concentrate on the driving which is going to be a lot harder if you’re struggling to move or breathe. In this situation, you need to assess the functionality of your attire and if it’s not practical enough you should have one outfit for the road and another for the party that you’re going to change into after you arrive. This might not be the most elegant of solutions but it is the safest one.
Shoes matter the most
Wearing the right clothes is important but shoes make the biggest difference when it comes to driving comfort. Shoes that are too tight can cause blisters and make your feet sore, while oversized shoes make it harder to maintain control of pedals, so in both situations, it’ll be more difficult for you to drive and therefore you’ll be exposed to a higher risk of accidents.
Heels are a hard pass, as expected, but so are shoes that are too chunky (work boots, for example, don’t allow you to feel the pedals accurately) or shoes that have too many accessories on them as they can get stuck on the pedals and cause you to lose control of the vehicle. Flip-flops should also be avoided because they can slip off the pedals or from your feet and don’t provide enough support for driving.
Driving without shoes is not a good idea either. While it’s not illegal to drive barefoot, it’s not advisable to do so because you don’t have the same control or brake force without your shoes on. Besides, why would anyone drive around barefoot anyway since you have to get out of the car at one point? So, it’s best to leave this look for the beach and put some comfortable shoes on.
Dress for the season
Another factor to take into account as a driver is the weather. Diving with the AC blasting in your face to make up for your poor outfit choices is not a great way to start a journey. Be wise and check the weather forecast before you go on the road. If it’s warm and sunny, wear light and loose clothes that allow your skin to breathe and keep you cool. Pair that up with some sturdy sunglasses and you’re ready to go.
During colder months, it’s best to layer up so you can remove or put on clothes depending on how cold or warm the temperature gets throughout the day. You should start with the thinner layers first and add thicker ones on top. Since your hands are the most exposed parts of your body when driving, you should also put some gloves on, but not any kind of gloves. There are special driving gloves that can keep you warm while also providing adequate grip for a comfortable driving experience.
Last but not least, you should also consider how long you’ll be driving. For longer rides, you might want to bring some spare clothes with you, just in case anything happens and you need to change while on the road.
Proper driving attire might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of road safety, but as you can see it plays an important role in the equation. So, next time you get behind the wheel, make sure to pay more attention to what you’re wearing.
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