Stilettos and driving pedals do not make the safest combination.

London - From flip-flops to stilettos, unsuitable footwear behind the wheel is putting lives at risk, experts have warned.

Some motorists even admit to driving barefoot, according to research by fuel giant Shell.

Young drivers aged 18 to 30 are most likely to wear inappropriate footwear, with nearly one in three (29 percent) saying they wore high heels or sandals for a car journey. That compares to just one in six of those aged 50 to 65 in the poll of 1000 motorists.

Experts say drivers who do not wear flat shoes with a firm grip could find their feet slipping off the brake or clutch pedals, putting them at risk of a crash.

In the research for Shell’s smarter driving initiative more than half (57 percent) of young motorists said they were better drivers than anyone else.

Yet almost two thirds admitted driving with one or no hands on the wheel (59 percent) and a third confessed to using their cell phone while driving.