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When driving, do you use one foot for brake and gas both, or your left foot for brake and right for gas?
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When driving, do you use one foot for brake and gas both, or your left foot for brake and right for gas?

I am 16, and have been using both feet for the last year, but my friends and parents use their right foot. What do you do? Is there any drawbacks to each? I always thought if you used both feet your reaction time to a sudden stop would be better because you wouldnt have to move your foot off the gas. Thanks!


I have been driving since I was younger than you, and I do not left-foot brake, even in an automatic.

This is due to a number of reasons:
1. I will drive anything I am allowed to
2. I have been driving for 40 years and manual gearboxes were the standard when I was your age
3. I believe in automatic reflexes, which means that I do not have to think about whether the car I am driving at the time has two or three pedals in an emergency to decide which foot to brake with.
4. There is NO driving situation where you need to have your foot on both the brake and accelerator (gas) simultaneously - automatics cope best on hill starts, Subaru's "hill holder" works well on manuals, and manual gearboxes require you to have foot on clutch pedal starting uphill, so....
5. If the pedals layout has been properly designed (yeah, I know) the brake and accelerator pedals should be at the same height, so you don't need to lift and move the right foot across, just swivel the ankle.
6. Motor Sport car builders/modifiers adjust the pedals so that all three are in the same plane.
7. you need your foot off the gas when braking in a hurry, as you need all the stopping power under your control - not having to fight the engine.
8. There is nothing worse (well there really is but...) than a driver "riding the brake pedal" because they are so nervous. It is sheer bad driving and makes anticipation by the following car's driver so much more difficult. If the brake lights are constantly on, you can't tell if they are seriously braking until later than you would want - doesn't do your own gut a lot of good.
9. Your reaction time MAY be better with left foot braking - MAY BE. Marginal; but what about the loss of efficiency with the foot still on the go pedal

Rally drivers in front wheel drive cars, used to use left foot braking the get the rear of the car sliding, whilst powering on hard on the gas. Equivalent effect of a "handbrake" or "bootlegger" turn.

Stick with your parents concepts

scott h
Use only the right foot for both peddles. People who use both feet to operate the controls tend to hit both at the same time which wastes gas and burns up the brakes.

It is safer to drive with only one foot in an automatic tranny because if you were to slam you feet down in a panic stop you would be using gas and brake simultaneously

use only my right foot to drive with, unless it's a stick shift...

On an automatic car use only one foot. If you use both and at some point you use a different car with a stick shift you would have a lot of problems readjusting and could even be dangerous. Do not assume you'll never drive a stick shift.
So, left foot for an eventual clutch, right foot for brake and gas.

Istvan D
If an automatic transmission then the right foot does all the work. In a manual transmission scenario, the left foot is for the clutch, the right foot the same as above.

Good luck and drive defensively!!!

use 1 foot for brake and gas

One foot.

I was taught that way--the reasoning is, if you drive a manual transmission, you will be using your right foot for brake and gas, and the left for the clutch.

traditionally the right foot was used for the gas and brake pedal because the left foot was for the clutch pedal.
Now talking about not removing your foot off the gas pedal well thats the first thing you have to do! Otherwise what's the point in stepping on the brake. Besides you shouldn't be driving so fast or so close to the vehicle in front of you that you need to have your foot over the brake at all times.

bee p
I agree with big george's answer #8. PLEASE stop riding the brake in front of me> this drives me nutty!

the correct way to drive is to use only your right foot in an automatic because you never know when you will have to drive a manual car.

using both feet is dangerous because the instinct in an emergency is to slam both feet down. it would be difficult to coordinate to jam your left foot but not your right when you only have a split second to react.

using only your right foot also ensures that your foot is off the gas before you brake, such that there is no chance of 'riding the brake' when you brake before your foot is off the gas, which wastes fuel and wears out the brakes.

I use my left foot for the clutch & right foot for gas & brake. It seems to me that you won't gun it and brake at the same time that way. Better on the car & better for gas mileage is my thinking.

Richard M
I drive with my right foot only. The problem with using both feet is people tend to rest there left foot on the break pedal when driving. Not only will this hurt the life of your break pads and rotors there's a good chance they are driving with their break lights on. Of course this can be dangerous because anyone following them can't tell when you are using your breaks.

I presume that you have passed your driving test? If not, they may dock points for this. Perhaps the best reason for right foot only is that it insures that you don't touch the brake while driving. Even though every car I have driven has at least a little "pedal play" before the brakes do anything mechanically, the brake lights are usually engaged sooner. If you leave your foot on the pedal and keep the brake lights on continuously, you deny the person behind you warning if you really stomp on them.

Even an attentive driver would lose some fraction of a second due to this and with all the scary people driving while talking on the phone, shaving, reading, etc. You really need to command peoples' attention when you brake!

FYI, if you enjoy driving, driving a manual is one of those simple pleasures of life that is worth learning. It a learning curve, but is fun and can be essential if you want to rent or borrow overseas. If you know someone that could teach you and provide you with some practice, it might be a good time to try it!

i use my right foot for both the gas and the brake pedal, as it is designed for on every vehicles. it is a very poor practice to use your left foot for the brakes. one little tap on the brakes, and your brake lights will go on, and it can confuse many other drivers that are behind you, thinking that you are slowing down, when you are actually accelerating. in a situation when you have to react quickly to brake, you might end up pushing the gas instead of the brakes, or worse, both the pedals, and cause accidents or even damage your brake pads. not to mention, using your left foot for the brake is very uncomfortable when you are driving, since the brake pedal is positioned closer to your right foot than your left. i suggest you break that habit and start using your right foot for brake and gas pedal. assuming you haven't yet taken your behind the wheel test, if you are caught driving with the left foot on the brakes, you will fail the test.

People who drive an automatic with both feet have a BAD habit of putting just enough pressure on the brake that the brake lights stay on CONSTANTLY. This is VERY UNSAFE. Nobody behind you can tell if you are stopping or going. I bet you put brake pads on your car about one/twice a year. You REALLY need to get in the habit of driving with your right foot, unless you drive a manual.

Fred C
It is safer to use only the right foot for gas and brake when driving an automatic, it keeps the flow the same if you ever learn to drive a standard, and it eliminates the possibility of stomping on gas and brake at the same time in a panic stop. And you definitely want your foot off the gas in a panic stop. A right-footed driver can get that right foot on the brake faster than a 2-footed driver can get his left foot on it.

However, if you live in an area with winter weather, snow and ice, it is a good idea to learn to use both feet for LOW-SPEEDS while getting out of a low-traction spot. The one or two times you may need it, it comes in handy.
I have been driving for 42 years, about a million and a half miles, and learned on standard to start with, I can switch back and forth without thinking.

Vince M
Same foot. Your method is more dangerous because continued acceleration of the engine means less effective braking power.

Safe drivers compensate for reaction time in most daily driving situations by anticipating traffic ahead. For example, when approaching an intersection, a defensive driver will know that the nature of a green light is to change to yellow and then to red. As the car nears the intersection, we take our foot off of the gas and "cover" the brake pedal. Not appling any foot pressure, but letting the foot "hover" over the pedal. If braking is needed, the foot is already there.

Similarly, by keeping a safe following distance and maintaining a steady speed, less braking is required and fewer situations will occur where sudden stops are needed.

And finally, paying attention to driving, above all other concerns means that less reaction time is required to see the hazzard, recognize that it IS a hazzard, deciding what course of action to take, and then, FINALLY, taking that action. (not to mention the time it takes the vehicle to perform the required function.

The army teaches left foot brake / right foot gas.

The drawback to driving that way is when / if you drive a manual transmission - the left foot clutch action, when applied to the brake, can put you and your passengers in direct contact with the windshield.

I personally use the right foot gas / brake because of painful personal experience with the clutch action to brake which produced bruising from shoulder part of seat belt.

I used to use both feet and never had a problem then one day just started using my right. It does seem like you have better reaction time with both feet.

I have been using both feet to drive automatics for 45 years with NO problem.

Don't do it when taking the driver license test though. They don't like it.

mister ss
Personaly thats the way I drive, I use one foot for the gas and the left foot for the brake, I know thats not the way they teach you to do it because if you ever drive a standard shift car it won't work that way but seeing I drive automatic for the last 19 yrs. thats the way I do it.

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