Any driver who enjoys their time behind the wheel has at some point wondered, is it illegal to drive with both feet? The simple answer is No. There isn’t any law that prohibits drivers from using both feet when they are driving.
There are instances when driving with both feet can prove beneficial. Think of a situation where one has to brake instantly to avoid crashing into the car in front.
There are also instances where it is a necessity to drive using both feet. Drivers of manual cars with stick shift pedals need to use both feet; one for the clutch and the other for the accelerator and the brakes.
In this post, we take a look at driving with both get and everything you need to know about this topic.
Use our table of contents below for easier navigation through this post.
- Brake And Gas Pedal
- Step On The Gas And Brakes
- Driving With Left Foot
- Left Foot On The Brake
- Disadvantages Of Driving With Left Foot
- Left Foot On The Gas
- Stick Shift Pedals
- Driving With Both Feet
- Frequently Asked Questions
Brake And Gas Pedal
When learning how to drive a car specifically an automatic, the instructor will make it clear that you should only use the right foot for both the gas and the brake. This, therefore, means that to be able to press the brakes, you need to get your foot off the accelerator.
However, others claim that driving with both feet can be beneficial. The argument put forth is that many crashes occur due to pressing on the gas pedal accidentally.
The point is that having one foot on the accelerator and one foot on the brake pedal significantly enhances reaction time. This is as opposed to using the right foot on the brake and gas pedal. The driver can get the car to a standing stop faster than if they had to switch their right foot from the accelerator to the brakes.
Is It Illegal To Drive With Both Feet
So is it illegal to drive with both feet? The short answer is no there are no laws in America that prohibit driving with both feet.
That said many people do not support driving with both feet. One of the major issues that could occur is the driver could press the accelerator accidentally while they intended to hit the brakes.
The opposite is also true that the driver could unintentionally hit the brakes causing a sudden deceleration. This could cause an issue if there was a car driving fast behind them.
When learning to drive you will also learn to place the left foot on the dead pedal. This helps to provide stability for a more comfortable drive. Placing the left foot on the brake could cause fatigue which leads us to the next problem.
Resting your left foot on the brake pedal will cause you to apply a slight amount of force on the brakes. This will cause the brake pads to come into contact with the rotors. In turn, it will result in friction that causes the brake pads to wear out quickly.
Ultimately you are better off using one foot on the brake and gas pedal.
Step On The Gas Step On The Brakes
Now that we are clear on the topic of is it illegal to drive with both feet, one of the topics that intrigue many drivers is what would happen if you were to step on the gas and step on the brakes at the same time.
One thing to note is that this scenario of pressing both the brake and gas pedal could have many outcomes depending on the type of car and the transmission. It will also depend on how old your car is and whether it is a front-wheel-drive or rear-wheel drive.
If you just got a brand-new car, then the modern technology prevents the car from reacting whenever you press the gas and the brakes at the same time. Simply put, the whole situation will be uneventful.
If you are driving a performance car, on the other hand, there is a name for pressing the brakes and the gas at the same time – launch control. The goal is to achieve the most acceleration from a standing stop.
To do this drivers start by pressing the right foot on the gas pedal to the bottom and also pressing the brakes. Now to launch, all you would do is take your foot from the brakes and the car would bolt forward. This is possible because by pressing the gas and achieving a high RPM, the engine is at peak power and can launch the car.
Launch control via pressing both the brake and gas pedal however is far more common with automatic cars than with manual cars that have stick shift pedals. This is because manual cars are becoming less and less common.
Types of Automatic Transmissions
Automatic transmission can be diving into two categories. These are:
- Clutch based transmission
- Conventional transmission
With the conventional type of automatic transmission, there is a torque converter which causes slippage of power between the transmission and the wheels. This explains why the car’s engine will not stall on certain automatic cars even when if the gear is set on drive and when the car isn’t moving.
The clutch-based transmission on the other hand has a clutch. This clutch is engaged whenever the car needs to move. Simply put, a clutch can’t be engaged if the car is moving so it doesn’t allow slippage to the wheels. Otherwise what would occur is damage to the clutch plate.
When launching the car, you will deploy the clutch by pressing the brakes. This allows the engine to rev even while pressing on the gas. When the right foot is off the brakes. The clutch automatically releases and the car bolts off.
If you were to step on the gas step on the brakes, this can be used for line lock. This simply entails worming the tires so that the car has a better grip on the road. Often drivers use line lock on rear-wheel-drive cars.
But is pressing the brakes and gas ideal? Simply put, launch control is best done on performance cars. Trying it on a normal vehicle increase the chances of damaging something. Launch control exerts enormous pressure on the transmission the engine as well as the brakes.
Driving With Left Foot
If you’ve been asking yourself is it illegal to drive with both feet, it is important to keep in mind that it is not illegal to drive with both feet much less driving with your left foot.
What counts is that it doesn’t endanger you or other drivers and pedestrians on the road. Even while this is so, driving with your left foot is not the norm. The norm is to use the right foot to step on the gas and step on the brakes.
Note that several reasons would cause one to drive with their left foot. Often it’s a case of necessity. Assuming you have an injury on your right foot, then the only option that you would have is driving with your left foot.
Others find it much more comfortable to drive with the left foot than the right. For instance, if your lead leg is your left leg, then it is much easier to use your left leg than the right. You will also find it easier to drive with the left foot.
Furthermore, by teaching yourself and getting used to driving with the left foot, you will become more accustomed to it. Other times, if you were taught to drive with two feet, then driving with the left foot is quite easy.
Driving With Left Foot On The Brake
Is it illegal to drive with both feet and is it safe to use the left foot for driving? By learning how to use your left foot on the brake pedal you can increase reaction time significantly. Racecar drivers are known to use this method.
Granted the norm is to use the right foot to step on the gas and step on the brakes. While it is often not recommended to use racecar techniques on normal vehicles, you can indeed learn how to operate the brakes with the left foot.
One of the main reasons why the reaction time is faster with the left foot on the brakes is because it is close to the brake pedal. This is unlike the right foot which needs to be moved from the gas pedal to the brake pedal.
Another reason that could require driving with your left foot on the brakes is if you have for instance an orthopedic on your right foot. Of course, in this case, you would feel much safer driving with the left foot and using the left foot to control the brakes.
However, to be able to use the left foot on the brake easily you will need practice. Very often drivers find it confusing when it comes time to step on the gas and step on the brakes using their right foot.
But driving with the left foot on the brake comes with a few downsides.
Disadvantages Of Driving With Left Foot On The Brakes
Can Be Tiring
First off, always placing your left foot above the brake pedal can prove tiring. It is much easier to place it on the dead pedal.
The car design is not for use with the left foot on the brake pedal. It causes the driver to sit in an awkward position. This would cause injury and pain in your left knee especially after driving long distances. Proper foot position is therefore paramount.
Can Cause Confusion
In case of a sudden occurrence while driving or fear of a crash, the driver can panic and accidentally press both the brake and the gas. If he or she missed the brakes then the car would surge forward into a potentially disastrous situation.
It is difficult and confusing to learn to use both the left foot and the right foot. You will often find it much easier to step on the gas step on the brakes using the right foot. What’s more, many people have more coordination on their right foot than on their left foot.
Things can get even more confusing when driving a car with a manual transmission with stick shift pedals (as with a manual transmission RAV4). This is because the left foot is needed for the clutch. Learning how to use it for both the clutch and brake can prove a bit tricky.
Resting the left foot on the brake applies slight pressure on the pedal. This will turn on the brake lights which can confuse other drivers. What’s more, the brake pads come into contact with the rotors and this causes them to wear out much faster.
Cars Are Designed For Right Foot Driving
Even while many people may not be aware of this, the left foot is used frequently in driving to offer support, especially during turns. By using the left foot on the brakes, you would be unable to provide yourself with much-needed support.
So is it illegal to drive with both feet, especially the left foot? No, it’s not illegal. But that doesn’t make it necessary.
If you are used to driving an automatic with your left foot you may find it difficult to switch over to a manual car.
Simply put, cars are to be driven with the right foot. It is not always a good idea to go against that fact unless it is completely necessary.
Driving With The Left Foot On The Gas
Is it illegal to drive with both feet or use the left foot? No, it’s not illegal. But should you use the left foot for driving?
There are only a few instances where you should use the left foot in the gas. One is if you have an injury on the right foot.
And if there are circumstances that are forcing you to use your left foot on the gas pedal, it is probably a good time to visit your local mechanic and find out of there are any modifications that can help to accommodate your situation and make driving with your left foot easier.
Trying to drive with the left foot on the gas, places you in an uncomfortable position. Besides, there is a reason why cars have the gas pedal on the right side. Car design intends you to use the right foot to step on the gas and step on the brakes.
Being left-footed also doesn’t mean you should drive while using the left foot on the gas. If you find it uncomfortable learning to drive with your right foot, it is best to practice using your right foot until you are comfortable.
But the question now becomes – why is the gas pedal on the right and not on the left? Well, initially cars were all manual transmissions with stick shift pedals. This means they came with a clutch pedal. To drive the car, a driver was required to only use the left foot to operate the clutch pedal. The right foot was used for the gas and the brakes.
When automatic cars stepped onto the scene, it only made sense to design them in a way that most drivers were used to.
Stick Shift Pedals
A stick-shift or manual car has three pedals. This is why it can be confusing to drive a stick shift vehicle if you only have experience in driving an automatic car.
The first pedal in the stick shift car is the gas pedal. This one is located on the far right.
The second pedal located in the stick shift is the brake pedal. This one is locked in the middle.
The third pedal is the clutch pedal that is on the far left.
The driver of the manual vehicle with stick shift pedals will use the right foot to operate the gas pedal. He or she will also operate the brake pedal with the right foot.
However, the driver will only use the left foot to operate the clutch pedal.
Driving With Both Feet
Is it illegal to drive with both feet and is it safe? Driving with both feet will first depend on which type of car you are driving. If it is a manual car, then it is necessary to drive with both feet. The right foot operates the gas pedal and the brake pedal while the left foot operates the clutch pedal.
However, if you are driving an automatic transmission vehicle, then driving with both feet is often a matter of preference. However, some would argue that using the left foot to press on the brake pedals can enhance reaction time. On the other hand, resting your right foot on the brake pedal will cause it to wear out.
Driving with Both Feet Facts:
- There is no law that prohibits driving with both feet.
- Driving with both feet can cause exhaustion, confusion in an emergency situation, and potential damage to the car, brake pads, and other drivers on the road.
- Most cars are designed for single-foot driving, and some states have laws against driving barefoot (to learn more, check out our guide on is it illegal to drive barefoot and is it illegal to drive without shoes).
- There are three situations where driving with both feet makes sense: when driving a car with a manual transmission, when driving a race car, and when the driver is 100% comfortable doing so.
- Experts generally advise against driving with both feet due to safety concerns.
- However, some experts argue that driving with two feet can solve the problem of accidentally hitting the wrong pedal during an emergency.
- It is up to the driver to understand the risks and make a decision that works best for their safety and the safety of others.
- Some warn against driving with both feet, as it can cause panic, and slamming both pedals will not cause the car to stop.
- Others argue that using one foot for the brake and one foot for the gas can train the brain to connect each foot with its respective pedal, but acknowledges that driving with one foot has its benefits.
- Ultimately, the decision to drive with both feet is up to the driver’s preference, but safety concerns should be taken into consideration.
Frequently Asked Questions – Is It Illegal To Drive With Both Feet?
Here are some popular FAQs:
Why Is It Illegal To Drive With Both Feet
It is not illegal to drive with both feet. There are no laws or regulations that restrict driving with both feet. However, it can be awkward and uncomfortable to press the brake pedal with the right foot or operate the gas pedal with the right foot. Over long distances, it can result in knee and hip injuries. So even while it is possible to drive with both feet, it is advisable to use the right foot.
Which Pedal Is The Brake
The position of the brake pedal depends on the type of vehicle you are dealing with. If you are driving an automatic vehicle then the brake pedal is located on the left. If you on the other hand are driving a manual car, the brake pedal is the one in the middle between the clutch pedal to the left and the gas pedal to the right.
Which Pedal Is The Gas
The gas pedal is always located on the far right whether you are dealing with a manual transmission car or you are dealing with an automatic car. The manual car will have 3 pedals. The gas pedal is on the far right. The automatic transmission will have the brake pedal and the gas pedal. The automatic car has the brake pedal on the right. There is a reason, the gas pedal is located on the right. This is because the intent is for the right foot to operate the pedal. Only unavoidable circumstances should push someone to drive using the left foot.
Is It Illegal To Drive Barefoot In Texas
It is not illegal to drive barefoot while in Texas. It is not illegal to drive barefoot anywhere in the united states. There are simply no laws that prohibit this. That said, some people believe that it is not safe to drive barefoot. This is because it can be difficult to press the brakes or the clutch with enough pressure. Also, bare feet can easily slip from the pedals.
Is It Illegal To Drive Barefoot In NC
It is not illegal to drive barefoot in North Carolina State or any state in the United States this is because there are no laws that prohibit drivers from driving barefoot anywhere in the US.
Is It Illegal To Drive Barefoot In Ohio
It is not illegal to drive barefoot in Ohio or anywhere in the united states. There are no laws that prohibit drivers from driving barefoot in any state in the US.
What Side Is The Gas Pedal On
The gas pedal is always located on the right. This is whether you are driving a left-handed vehicle or a right-handed vehicle. Also, the gas pedal is on the right whether you are driving a manual car or an automatic car.
Which Pedal Is The Brake In An Automatic Car
Automatic vehicles have two pedals. One is the gas pedal and the other is the brake pedal. The brake pedal is always the one on the left in an automatic car.
Is It Illegal To Drive Barefoot In TN
It is not illegal to drive barefoot in Tennessee. There are no laws prohibiting drivers from driving barefoot in Tennessee or any state in the United States.
Can You Drive With Your Left Foot
It is possible to drive a car with your left foot. However, this puts you in an awkward position whether you are pressing the brake pedal or pressing the gas pedal. Cars are designed to be driven using the right foot. It is advisable to only drive with the left foot in unavoidable circumstances such as if you have an injury on your right foot.
Is It Illegal To Drive Barefoot In Michigan
It is not illegal to drive barefoot in Michigan. No law says drivers in Michigan cannot drive barefoot. No law prohibits driving barefoot anywhere in America.
Is It Illegal To Drive Barefoot In GA
Anyone can drive barefoot in Georgia without breaking the law. No regulations or legislation prevent drivers from driving barefoot in Georgia.