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Left foot braking in automatics


Mjolinor
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Left foot braking in automatic cars  

27 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you left foot brake, right foot accelerator or not?

    • Yes
      3
    • No
      24


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Just generally interested what ratio of people use their left foot for braking and their right foot for accelerator when driving cars with only two pedals.

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Too risky. Every accident I have seen in car parks people driving autos was left foot braking. Panic mode, press both feet down, crash.

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Very dangerous, right foot only for me, forget you have a left leg and keep it away from the pedals, it becomes second nature after a while. The number of cars I have seen smashed up because people "forget" and get confused, don't do it 

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I  would say that I only use right food for braking in my Camry (automatic) - it's just like driving the Yaris (manual). My sister claims she uses the left foot, but I have told her if she does that in my car I will revoke her Camry License: I don't know if it is like this in modern cars but I remember to have been told in the old days that stepping on both pedals at the same time in an automatic transmission will wear down and break the cluch pretty fast. Could be a myth.

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I am beginning to feel lonely. 😞

 

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If you only have a licence to drive an automatic car, it probably doesn’t matter if you use right or left foot for braking.   BUT, if you have a licence to drive both manual or automatic, then for complete safety and control it is essential that you only use the right foot for accelerator and brake, whichever type of transmission you are driving.

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I use my right foot for the accelerator and my wife uses her right foot from the passenger seat to hit the break. It doesn't really happen but it might as well by the amount of times she has said watch that car.😂

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Honest John says (or said) that left foot braking in an auto is much better.

I disagree, I once had the pleasure of riding as a passenger in a car driven by someone who was a pretty bad driver anyway (I suspect that he had not passed his driving test) he was braking and accelerating both at the same time.

Made me queasy, needless to say I got the bus home.

But aside from terrible drivers like him, I still think right foot only, not least due to muscle memory in drivers who swap between clutch and auto, aswell as the safety aspect.

 

 

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I would like to bet that, where a pupil is learning to drive an automatic car, the instructor would say ‘right foot only for both pedals’, and would correct the pupil if he/she did anything different.  Likewise, when taking the test, I think an examiner would fail a pupil who used his/her left foot.

If I am correct about this then, Honest John or whoever is wrong in advising use of the left foot.

The only exception that I can see, is if an amputee driver had only his/her left leg intact.

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Honest John is correct, it is much better. He does not advise you to do it, he merely says it is better.

I started doing it 50 years ago when I had a garage that mended auto gearboxs and it is absolutely necessary to master it in the days when tickover was a luxury and testing the gearbox required you to be able to have throttle and brake on at the same time.

In an emergency I used my right foot and it is all programmed into my brain. If the car is auto I will use my left foot, if it is manual I use my right foot, in an emergency I use my right foot. I do not consciously think about this at all, it is just the way I do it. I also use my right foot when reversing.

I do wonder how people that right foot brake only  can manage to "inch" a car that has an automated manual gearbox. Those cars do not creep so whereas on a normal automatic you can creep with brake only you cannot do that with automated manual. This is why most automated manuals have a hill start feature where the brake stays applied for a couple of seconds after you release the pedal, until you rev the engine.

That's my neck on the block. 🙂

 

 

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right foot only, the left does nothing, left foot braking is extremely dangerous in an auto as it reduces control, right foot only will also give you a smoother drive, on a drag strip you use both feet to power brake a launch

 

Many older people coming from manual to auto 2 foot autos - usually end up parked in an object or on its roof

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@Mjolinor semi-autos do creep to some degree, you drive it like a manual tbh with the handbrake to control the creep as you pull away

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Just now, flash22 said:

@Mjolinor semi-autos do creep to some degree, you drive it like a manual tbh with the handbrake to control the creep as you pull away

My Smart car does not creep at all under any circumstances. Neither do Citroen automated manuals.

An automated manual is not the same as a semi-automatic.

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yes it is, it is an interchangeable term, Smart especially the early ones are slow and dim-witted

Semi-automatics can be manual auto boxes or automated manuals - neither are great, especially the mainstream stuff, the Aygo MMT aka X-shift is one of the better ones but they have some major issues - bottom of the barrel is shared with Ford Durashift and Vauxhalls (not pug) easytronic

 

I wouldn't know about French cars as I avoid them

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"Semi auto" is a much wider term that includes pre-selector and pneumocyclic and a host of others. Automated manuals can generally be put into full auto or semi auto modes but they are only one type of a much larger category of semi-auto gearboxes. Most of the semi auto gearbox types will creep as they tend to be "oil" drive of one sort or another but the automated manual is mechanically the same as a normal manual with electronics controlling changes and clutch operation. If they are set to creep the clutch would have a very short life.

 

 

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Use the right foot. There is no need to left-foot brake in normal* driving. This is especially true since the 2008/9 "unintended acceleration" cases that resulted in modern car ECUs being programmed to cut out acceleration/drive as soon as the brake pedal is pressed (Thanking you! - Not).

*Normal meaning driving from A to B on public roads, not track or rally where you do use the left foot to trail brake and load up the tyres slightly to maintain stability through corners. 

 

41 minutes ago, Mjolinor said:

If they are set to creep the clutch would have a very short life.

This is exactly what they do. They slip the clutch until you put the foot on the brake. They last pretty well as you can control the amount of slip very precisely. Ham-fisted (footed?) humans can inadvertently make surprisingly short work of clutches. 

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When I went to test drive a Toyota Hybrid some years ago now the dealer said have you ever driven one of these before? No I said. Then he said forget you have a left foot and keep it away from the pedals. Keep it firmly planted on the foot rest all the time. Good advice that I have never forgotten. 

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Right foot only. Left foot relaxes and rests on the footrest

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I've never had the opportunity to try before since all my previous cars were manuals, but I did experiment with left foot braking when I was more familiar with the Mk4 and found it worse than using the right foot for both.

The problem is, I would have to lift my left foot off its resting position on the floor to the brake pedal, which added extra time vs just moving my right foot sideways, and my left foot isn't used to braking so lacked the finesse my right foot has. I thought, being so used to operating a clutch, it would be okay but it turns out clutch muscle memory doesn't translate to brake muscle memory!

If I held my foot over the brake pedal it reduced the travel time, but I found that very fatiguing, as I'd be holding my leg up and gave me a cramp due to how I was then holding my weight on the seat. I couldn't just rest my foot on the brake pedal as it's heavy enough to trigger the brake lights with my boots on.

I think it'd take a lot more practise to get comfortable with it - I see a lot of youtubers who regularly do track days use the technique, but for regular road driving I don't think it's worth it, especially since my car already likes to randomly brake violently for itself - I don't need to help it with that :laugh: 

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I don't use my brake pedal much anyway. I prefer to moderate my speed using the accelerator. I only use the brakes to bring the car to a stop (usually from barely above walking pace).

I consider using the brakes for any other purpose - unless it's an emergency - to be poor driving.

Good acceleration sense and situational awareness should mean you can drive everywhere just using the accelerator pedal to control speed.

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Right foot only for me. Like @bigblock, when I got my first Toyota Hybrid, I was told by the dealer to forget I had a left foot! 

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Makes no sense to use left foot for brakes, could be dangerous. My 2nd car was a corolla automatic 1.6GLS, no one ever need to tell me which foot to use for braking. Don't tell me some people in a manual car use left foot for braking! 

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I think HJ advocated using the left foot to brake during low speed manoeuvres, cases where elderly drivers accidentally pressed the accelerator causing an accident  whilst parking then claiming there was a fault with  the car, the idea being that the left foot would use firmer pressure ..

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Any argument seems pointless to me.  When we drive a manual car we use the right foot for both accelerator and brake.  The only difference for your feet is that an automatic has no clutch pedal, so the left foot becomes unnecessary The right foot has become the natural limb to deal with both accelerator and brake, and “trained” to react accordingly, regardless of manual or automatic transmission.

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Years ago when I was a relatively new driver and had a manual gearbox car, my uncle asked me to take him somewhere in his auto car.  I'd never driven one before.

He told me to take my left shoe off and put it in the passenger footwell, so that if I felt sock on pedal then I was doing something wrong.

I drive both autos and manuals regularly now and have never ever attempted to use my left foot in an auto.  But I don't take my shoe off now!

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