Your instructor no doubt covered the basics of driving safely, but they probably didn’t go over every single detail. Just as you need to dress appropriately to work out, you also need to wear the right clothing in a car. Otherwise, you could lose control of the wheel or pedals more easily.
What Happens if You’re at Fault for a Car Accident?
If the clothing you wore managed to obstruct your view or your ability to use your hands and feet, you could be at fault for an accident. In at-fault accident states, the person responsible for causing the accident pays for all damages. There’s a possibility your license will be suspended.
Getting your license back can take years and usually requires an SR-22 certificate if your state requires it. This Cheap Insurance article covers everything you should know about the SR-22.
With that said, your license will only be suspended if you rack up too many points on your license, but you can lower your accident risk if you pay attention and maintain your car. An often overlooked part of safety is your driving wardrobe, but it can absolutely make a difference.
How to Dress Stylishly and Stay Safe as a Driver
An ill-fitting wardrobe can cause you to get distracted. According to Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, distracted driving causes 15% of police-reported crashes, so take your attire seriously.
Build a Comfortable Work Wardrobe
What you wear is typically chosen by your workplace. Whether you’re asked to wear overalls for a work site or a suit and tie for the bank, always build your outfits with comfort in mind. All of your clothes can be adjusted to your exact measurements. Plus, tailored clothing looks better.
While it isn’t easy to look stylish in most work uniforms (company-supplied), you can stay safe by tucking your pants into your boots and rolling up your sleeves away from your palms.
For men who can wear business casual or suits, be sure to follow dress shirt collar rules (keep it clean and secured with buttons), wear a tie clip, and take off your jacket. If your belt is digging into your stomach, loosen it. Have your pants hemmed about ½ to ⅔ of the way down the shoe.
Wear the Right Footwear (or Socks)
Tight shoes are uncomfortable and distracting, while oversized shoes can restrict your control. If you’re wearing a shoe with a slight heel (i.e., dress shoes), swap them out for something flatter when you enter the vehicle. Keep a pair of sleek but flat driving shoes in your car at all times.
In a pinch, driving without your footwear is safer, but it isn’t exactly stylish to drive around in your socks. Speaking of socks, make sure they’re long and tight enough to stay snug on your calf. You wouldn’t want your socks falling into your shoes, as that could cause irritation or blisters.
Dress for the Season (Plus Accessories)
In the summer, dress lightly and avoid putting on too many layers. If you get hot while driving, you could get distracted. Even when this does happen, be sure to stop the car before removing anything. For this reason, it’s better to take off your winter jacket when you enter the vehicle.
It’s common for men to wear large overcoats in the winter, but they can obstruct your legs. If possible, wear a warm sweater instead of a coat if you don’t plan on doing a lot of walking.
If you’re wearing jewelry, make sure it’s snug and doesn’t have the chance of turning or getting caught. Bags, gloves, and loose scarves should be removed and placed on the seat next to you.