Summer season is rapidly approaching, meaning many of us will be shedding the shoes and socks that have confined our piggies all winter long.

Barefooting, or going without shoes, is growing in popularity. There are groups such as American Barefoot Club and Society For Barefoot Living. Some folks run, hike, and even ski on their bare feet.

For others, spending the day at the beach, whether New Bedford's East or West Beaches, Fort Phoenix, Horseneck, Misquamicut or Scarborough, and having the feel of the sand between their toes is exhilarating.

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When it's time to head home, it's tough to squeeze your dawgs back into a pair of shoes – but driving while barefoot in Massachusetts and Rhode Island is illegal, right?


Driving Barefoot In Massachusetts And Rhode Island
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According to the Boston-based Personal Injury Law Firm Burns & Jain, "Contrary to many people's perceptions or alleged knowledge, it is not illegal to drive a vehicle while barefoot in Massachusetts or in any other state," including Rhode Island.

Burns & Jain warned, however, "driving any vehicle without appropriate footwear" can be dangerous and increase the risk of an accident.

"Bare feet obviously lack the traction that normal shoes provide," the firm warned. "If your feet are wet or sandy, they can easily slip off the gas or brake pedal with tragic results."

Burns & Jain also cautioned against allowing footwear to "become entangled or stuck under a brake pedal."

Footwear such as slippers, flip flops, shoes, and boots with long laces, opened toes sandals, and high heels can be dangerous when operating a vehicle and may make driving barefoot a safer option.

Driving Barefoot In Massachusetts And Rhode Island
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If your bare feet or footwear are determined to be a factor in a motor vehicle accident, it can be construed as reckless driving and result in a penalty.

Boston-based Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers says, "Sensible shoes are the best driving shoes." The firm suggests "closed-in shoes with good tractions and low heels."

Both firms agree that while no state bans barefoot driving, driving without shoes can be dangerous.

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