ASHEBORO NC – Police are saying that “Unsafe Footwear” is to blame after an elderly driver lost control, drove through the lawn next to the historic courthouse, before crashing into a stairwell.
On August 25th, just after 2 PM, emergency crews were called to 145 Worth St in Asheboro near the historic courthouse for a report of a vehicle that had hit the building. When they arrived, they found a 2014 Toyota SUV with its airbags deployed wedged in the stairwell next to the courthouse.
According to an accident report by the Asheboro Police Department the driver told police she was attempting to park on Worth St when her open toed shoe got caught on the accelerator. That’s when she said she lost control of the vehicle which jumped the curb, went through the lawn next to the courthouse, and ended up wedged in the stairwell.
No one was injured as a result of the accident. The damage to the stairwell was estimated at $700 while the damage to the vehicle was estimated at $7,000. No charges were filed.
“The wrong kind of shoe can cause an obstruction or a hazard while driving,” says Ryan Pietzsch, driver safety education expert for the National Safety Council. When these accidents occur The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) classifies them as “pedal errors”. The agency estimates that 16,000 crashes each year are due to pedal errors of all kinds.
According to a report by the NC DOT and NHTSA there were 2,411 pedal misapplication crashes between 2004 and 2008 in NC, but that report also notes that number may be higher due to NC reporting accidents in parking lots.
The NHTSA say shoes to avoid while driving include flip-flops & mules, house shoes, wedges, brand-new shoes, work boots, cowboy boots, high heels, and of course no shoes at all.