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Clothing choice that could trigger $448 fine

Will you be fined for driving in thongs? Images: Getty

As Australia bakes, thongs have become part of the national uniform. And on a hot Australia Day, this is especially true.

But sliding on a pair before hopping behind the wheel could land you in serious trouble. 

While it’s not illegal to wear thongs while driving, or in fact wear high heels or go barefoot, you could still cop a $448 in New South Wales if the police deem you to have insufficient control over the vehicle. 

Under the Australian Road Rules 2018, drivers need to drive in the safest way possible, including wearing appropriate footwear for operating pedals. 

That means that while you won’t receive a fine for wearing the thongs alone, you will be liable for a ticket if you’re found to have been driving unsafely. 

A Victoria Police Facebook poll last year revealed the level of confusion around the best footwear to drive in, with 40 per cent of Australians admitting they thought it was flat-out illegal to drive in the flimsy footwear. 

According to Finder.com.au’s Safe Driving Report for 2019, 11 million Australians admit to having driven unsafely before, with 25 per cent admitting to have driven while wearing thongs. 

"If you're engaging in risky behaviour behind the wheel and you are in an accident, you may not be able to claim the damage on your insurance," Taylor Blackburn, insurance specialist at Finder, said.

Australians eating, shaving in car

Australians are also guilty of several other reckless offences. 

Nearly half of us have eaten food while driving, while one-in-four has smoked. 

Around 12 per cent of Australians have had to reach back to deal with children, while 7 per cent have driven with their knees. 

And, 1 per cent of us have even shaved while driving. 

"Taking your eyes off the road for even a second can mean the difference between life and death, so it's staggering to think how many Aussies are being so reckless.

"Whether you're looking away to text, take a bite of food or put on makeup, every moment you aren't focused on the road can be catastrophic," Blackburn said.

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