France’s supreme court ruled that women’s high heels can make their driving dangerous.
The court decided that a woman driver who was wearing high heels when she crashed into another car, killing a three-year-old girl and injuring three others, was not entitled to compensation for her injuries. The court relied on article R. 412-6 of the highway code, which states drivers must be able to “execute conveniently and without delay all the necessary maneuvers.”
Le Figaro reported that the driver, from Bastia, Corsica, lost control on a slippery road because of “summer ice,” which triggered the crash with a car coming the opposite direction. The Corsican woman wanted €250,000 in compensation from the other motorist’s insurance, but they denied her claim. A lower court ruled for her, but then an appeals court in Bastia overturned that ruling, Now the supreme court has upheld the decision of the appeals court.
The court said that a contributing factor in the crash was that the woman’s high-heeled shoes got stuck under the gas pedal. She was carrying seven passengers at the time of the crash. Five of them, ages 4 to 15, were in the back of the car, unbelted.
Le Monde quoted Chantal Perrichon, the president of League against Road Violence, who excoriated the “sexism of the police,” saying, “What would they have done if it was a man in this case?”