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June 10th, 2022

You Can’t Legally Drive Barefoot in Texas and Other Myths

There’s no law against driving barefoot in Texas. If you can safely drive your vehicle, you can wear, or not wear, anything you want. Being unable to drive barefoot is just a myth helped by the internet and social media. What are other false driving stories?

GEICO has some:

  • You should hold your hands at the 10:00 and 2:00 positions on the steering wheel

This goes back to the days before power steering, which makes steering easier thanks to help from hydraulics or electricity. Using the 9:00 and 3:00 positions would be a better idea since you won’t need as much force compared to the stone age of unassisted steering (it wasn’t so bad when your vehicle was moving, but steering from a stop or parallel parking could be a workout). You would have a greater range of motion, and it could be easier to take evasive and possibly accident-preventing maneuvers.

Most vehicles are equipped with an airbag in the steering wheel’s center. It will inflate in a front-end collision to cushion the driver, so keep your hands and arms away from it. Your chest should be ten inches or more from the steering wheel to prevent possible injuries after an airbag inflates.

  • The ‘Mom arm’ could protect a passenger

If you haven’t done it yourself, maybe you’ve seen others do it. In case of emergency braking, the driver may thrust their right arm in front of the passenger to protect them if there’s a collision. This probably started in the pre-seatbelt era. It didn’t do much good then, and it may cause harm now.

The person should be belted, and the car may have an airbag in the dashboard to protect them. They’ll be far more effective than your right arm, no matter how muscular it may be. Your ‘Mom arm’ may slap the person in the face, and you’re taking a hand off the wheel, making controlling the vehicle in an emergency situation more difficult.

A variation may be the ‘Grandma arm’ where the front passenger rests their hand on the dash to prevent going forward if there’s a collision. A seatbelt will work much better, and the hand and arm could be injured if the airbag in front of them deploys. The person may do this because they’re uncomfortable with a seatbelt and do not use it. Seatbelts can be adjusted in many ways and should always be worn, not only because they make you safer – it’s mandated by Texas law.

  • You can ignore street signs depending on the situation

It’s a one-way street, and you only need to go a short distance to reach your destination. The sign says there’s no right turn at a red light, but you don’t see anyone coming. There’s a yield sign, but you think you can get into the lane before the other vehicle gets there if you speed up.

Never disobey street signs. If you’re ticketed, you may get points toward having your license suspended and face higher insurance premiums. If you ignore signs and cause an accident, you’ll get that ticket, and you may be sued for injuring others. If you have kids in the car, you’re also threatening their safety and teaching them dangerously bad driving habits.

  • It’s OK to speed if it’s not more than ten miles an hour faster than what’s posted

Every driver goes over the posted speed limit. We may do that without realizing it or intentionally speed to pass another vehicle (ideally where it’s allowed and when it’s safe). But doing it all the time, especially when conditions are bad, can get you into trouble.

You may or may not get ticketed for traveling ten miles an hour faster than the speed limit. It’s determined by the type of road, its surroundings, and what would be safe in perfect weather during daylight. If weather conditions and visibility are poor, going the speed limit may be too fast for conditions.

Speeding causes accidents. You may be to blame for an accident because you’re going too fast. If the other driver made mistakes too, and you’re in a crash, at the very least, speeding can reduce your compensation because you’re partially responsible.

Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, LLP Helps People Injured in Vehicle Accidents

Our attorneys have many years of legal experience handling car accident cases. Our Houston law office has dealt with all major insurance providers, helping clients like you get the fair compensation they need and deserve. Don’t worry about costs when you call us at 713-401-1073 – we work on contingency, and we’ll evaluate your case during a free consultation.

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