Before most car companies started making cars with automatic transmission, most people drove with both feet.
Drivers used one foot to either step on the gas or the brake, and the other foot to step on the clutch. This improves safety on the road because you can’t press the gas or brake pedals by accident.
But what about cars that drive themselves but only have two pedals? What does the law say about using both feet while driving?
Most states let you drive with both feet. But it’s not as safe as you might think. If you’re just learning to drive, make sure you use the same foot for the brake and the gas. Also, if you drive with both feet, you probably won’t be able to finish the driving test.
Today’s article talks about whether you should drive with one foot or both, and why either way can work for you.
Legal Considerations for Driving With Two Feet
For safety reasons, it’s not a good idea to drive a car with an automatic transmission with only one foot. Why is it not a good idea?
Traffic laws say that you can’t make changes to your car or drive in ways that put other people’s lives in danger.
If a road accident happens and it turns out that your habit of driving with both feet is to blame, you will be charged with reckless driving.
It’s also very dangerous to “idle” your foot over one of the pedals. By nature, we tend to use one foot as a base to figure out how hard we should work with the other.
Car makers make cars with a “dead pedal” to give the driver a place to rest their foot. This gives the driver more control when braking and speeding up.
Pros of Driving With Two Feet
Faster Response Times
If you use your left foot for the brakes and your right foot for the gas, you won’t waste any time moving your right foot from the gas pedal to the brake pedal.
In an emergency, this little bit of time could keep you from rear-ending another car or going off the road.
Fewer Chances of Confusing the Pedals
If you’re used to driving with both feet, your brain will tell you which pedal to press, especially in an emergency. But if you’re not used to it, driving with both feet can be dangerous.
You might press the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal by accident, which can be very dangerous.
Cons of Driving With Two Feet
Accidental Acceleration or Braking
When drivers get scared in an emergency, they often mix up the two pedals and press both at once or the wrong one.
This happens a lot to new drivers who aren’t used to being on the road.
Drivers Used to Manual Transmission
When driving a car with a manual transmission, we need to press the clutch until we feel that the engine is no longer connected to the transmission. This can sometimes mean pushing it all the way down.
Most people who switch from a manual transmission to an automatic transmission keep this habit.
And if the driver has been using their left foot on the clutch pedal for years, using their left foot on the brake pedal could cause them to press too hard.
Increased Wear and Tear of the Brakes
Some people who support driving with two feet keep their left foot hovering over the brake pedal and only press it when they need to.
This works until they get tired and put their foot on the pedal to rest. This is dangerous and should be avoided.
Even just a little bit of braking will heat up the brakes and make them wear out faster over time.
Poor Fuel Economy
When you leave your foot on the brake pedal, your car uses more gas. Since the brakes are there, the engine and other parts will have to work harder to reach a given speed.
Is Driving With Two Feet Dangerous?
For safety reasons, driving instructors hate it when people drive with two feet. Even though it’s not against the law, driving with two feet in a car with an automatic transmission will cause you a lot of trouble.
They include pressing the wrong pedal by accident, accelerating or breaking too hard by accident, getting distracted while trying to figure out which pedal to use, getting poor gas mileage, and getting tired because you have to move each foot separately.
But driving with only one foot in a car with a stick shift is terrible and hard to imagine. There are three pedals in a manual car: the gas, the brake, and the clutch.
Most automatic cars are very dangerous to drive with two feet.
Do Cops Drive With Both Feet?
No. Cops don’t have to drive with both feet on the floor. So, whether or not they can do so depends on what they want.
But police officers shouldn’t brake with their left foot because they will also put the lives of the public at risk.
During high-speed chases, cops like to keep a safe distance.
During a chase, the police can use both feet, though, if they find that doing so makes the car easier to control and more responsive.
Do Race Car Drivers Drive With Both Feet?
Yes. In racing, stopping with your left foot is called “left-foot braking.”
When you step on both the brake and gas pedals at the same time in a race car, the brakes don’t get turned off.
When the accelerator and brake pedals are both pressed at the same time, the brake override system takes over and stops the car.
And since races are often won by the smallest of margins, race drivers try to speed up their reactions by wasting less time as they move their right foot between the brake and gas pedals.
The technique lets the driver better position himself, brake, and speed up out of the turn and into the straight.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Driving With Two Feet Illegal in Texas?
In Texas, it is legal to drive with two feet. But you will be charged with reckless driving if you cause a crash or accident with the way you drive.
Also, you have to use both feet to drive a car with three pedals and a manual transmission.
Is Driving With Two Feet Illegal in California?
In California, it is legal to drive with two feet. But if your two-foot driving causes a crash or accident, you will be charged with driving recklessly.
Conclusion for Driving Safely with Two Feet
Most of the time, unless you’re driving a manual car, it’s not a good idea to drive with both feet. This puts you and other drivers in danger and wears out your car faster.
If it’s not really how you want to drive, it’s best to only use one foot.