Friday, August 26, 2011

Stupid or Not? Driving With Your Foot Out the Window

My friend called me up the other day and asked me a question I've never heard before. "Is it legal to drive with your foot out the window?' I didn't know what to say to her. "Uh. Um. Well, I don't think it's illegal," I replied.

My gut reaction paralleled my friend's assessment that it's dangerous to drive with a foot out the window. It seems like it would limit vehicle control. Especially in an emergency. And it looks stupid. Only idiots drive this way, as referenced by the YouTube clip above (as well as numerous other videos posted online),

And after the manner of said idiot, I tried it out this afternoon. I live in the county with very few cars around...the perfect place for such an experiment. I drove to the grocery store, about ten minutes in each direction. Now that I'm in the know (20 minutes worth), I'd like to share my experience with you.
Driving with my foot out the window.

Is it comfortable? The best part was having the breeze go through my toes. It was a fantastic feeling that I really like. Another plus is that feels nice to use your leg as an arm rest. There's a little notch for my elbow below my knee. Arriving at my destination, it was obvious that my leg had been in a new position since my muscles were slightly sore. I walked it off though in the produce section at the market. Bottom line, it's comfortable. However, I think having two feet on the floor is more comfortable.

Is it physically awkward? Pick your vehicle carefully. I'm 5'7" and flexible. My foot just wasn't going to go out the window of my SUV. However, I was successful with our small car. It's surprisingly not that awkward...though I need my hands to pull my leg to the window once I'm seated in the car. So that part is a little awkward.

How do others look at you? As far as I noticed, no other driver I encountered looked twice at me with my foot out the window. But I was certainly self-conscious! Traffic was mostly all on-coming but had I been on the freeway, I'm sure I would have gotten more looks. Also, as you can see in the photo above, my leg isn't nearly long enough to rest along the full length of the window. So I'm not sure how visible my foot actually was.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that I didn't drive in my neighborhood with my foot out the window. Nor did I when I got into town and in the store parking lot. If someone I know saw me, I'd be thoroughly embarrassed and would understand if they had second thoughts about bringing their kids to our driving school.

How's vehicle control? Surprisingly, it's pretty good. I didn't have any issues driving around curves, making right or left turns, and lane changing. The only issue I had was checking my blind spots. I didn't have my usual full range of motion on head checks. Although I adjusted for that easily enough.

Is it dangerous? I didn't test handling or control during any emergency procedures or evasive actions, but will have my brother do that the next time he does skid training. For now, I think if you have long legs, are flexible, and are an experienced driver. you will probably be fine driving with your foot out the window. I still prefer both of my feet on the floor, though.

What do you think? Is it dangerous or not? I want to know if you've driven with a foot out the window before. If so, please weigh in with your thoughts on the questions above.


  1. This is Hilarious!! I used to do that one long road trips when I didn't want to stop but had to stretch my legs.

  2. Road trip, huh? Makes sense. I found it more comfortable to rest my leg on my arm rest and not out the window. Then I could use my leg for an actual arm rest since I've never had long enough arms to use the one on the door.

    I still prefer my feet on the floor while driving, though. I won't do any crash test experiments but I'm pretty sure that if a collision were to occur, you'd have fewer or less severe injuries if your legs were lined up with your hips.

  3. I can't help but think a foot out the window is a foot in the grave!

  4. Been doing it for years, it is comfortable and as far as idiot and dangerous, one would hope that one would use a little common sense and place foot on floor before getting in congested areas and such. Lol but heck some would say if you are going to use common sense keep both feet on the ground. So to each their own. :)
    Glad you did a little experiment and was able to see that it doesnt impair ones driving ability.

  5. I just got busted for this in Delaware. I tried pleaing with the officer that it's a foot I don't use. I had two hands on the steering wheel, I was doing the speed limit (30mph), my reaction time would be better than someone who has only one hand on the wheel and one hand out the window. "Protrusion beyond the vehicles limit", $89 fine. Not sure if it carries points. I've been doing it for 20 years, never knew it was illegal.

  6. From everything I've seen it's not illegal if you get cited for it fight it in court and ask them the statute quoted, if they can't provide one then they lose, but be aware this puts a target on your back for police officers to pull you over for any reason they can think of,and they will I had an officer behind me and I obeyed every law and he just gave my car a full eyeball for something.


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