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  • Writer's pictureTom Fowler

Is Driving with Two Feet Illegal?

Updated: Feb 23, 2022

Are you driving your car with two feet? If yes, then you are doing it the wrong way. Perhaps, you were told by your parents or driving instructor only to use one leg when driving, especially when touching the gas pedal for acceleration and the brake for left-foot braking. There’s no law saying that driving using both feet is terrible. So, technically it’s legal to drive utilizing both feet. However, it would make the driving experience more difficult since the driver can run into some problems while on the road.

Perhaps, you drive a manual transmission, standard transmission, a car with a standard right foot braking type, or a right hand drive car. If this is the case, utilizing both feet is necessary, especially when driving a stick shift.

However, some people may only use one foot instead of both legs when driving an automatic transmission. Some of them are not typically fond of touching the accelerator while touching the brakes simultaneously. But some drivers tend to use both feet when driving automatic transmissions. Some of them are fond of touching the brakes for the left-foot braking while the other right-foot driving is for the accelerator. If you’re one of them, try to know their reasons by understanding their ideas and explanations.

Driving with two feet. Is it ok?

The Cases for Driving with Two Feet

Perhaps, some people ask themselves which is better to be used when driving? Is it only one foot or both feet? Either of the two is possible as long as they can effectively or appropriately drive their car safely. Some of them may tend to use both feet when driving because of the following reasons:

• Reaction time — If a two-foot driver holds only one foot on the brake when driving, then they can promptly depress the car’s brake pedal, especially in times of sudden hindrances ahead or if there are some problems in front. Two-foot driving also reduces their reaction time to touch the pedal brakes properly. Moreover, two-foot driving immediately slows down or stops the car.

• Unintentionally hitting the accelerator instead of brake — using two feet — right and left foot — while driving may seem helpful to those drivers who are fond of doing it. It is because they don’t need to worry about hitting or pressing the car’s accelerator anymore instead of the brake pedal by mistake. Their right or left foot is already aligned with the gas and brake pedal. That’s why there’s no risk of accidentally hitting a wrong pedal by mistake.

The Cases for Driving with One Foot or Right Foot Only

No one can ever rebuff that some people may still opt to only use the driver's foot while driving. It is because his right foot makes them more comfortable, and they are already used to it. Here’s some information about such cases when driving with one foot or right foot only:

• Improves Brake Performance and Reduces Fuel Economy

Once the driver becomes exhausted from hovering on the vehicle’s brake, they may rest their foot on its brake pedal, which doesn't allow strain on their legs. Doing so will provide slight pressure on its brakes, allowing them to heat its brakes. Thus, this can cause the pads to wear out faster, resulting from possibly warping its brake rotors. Aside from that, it reduces fuel economy, putting more strain on the engine since it needs to work harder in overcoming drag from car brakes.

• Dead Pedal

When learning a driving lesson from experts, they informed their learners to keep their left foot at the dead pedal — it’s a fixed form situated on the left portion of the ground. This one pedal is not attached to the mechanical components. Its sole objective is to provide more stability for the driver. The driver's left foot must be at the dead pedal, while the right foot/leg should touch either the brake pedal or the gas pedal for the accelerator. Drivers, especially those race car drivers, typically understand this thing when driving manual transmission since three available pedals are used when driving a specific type of vehicle.

• Sudden Unintentional Deceleration

Rapid unintended deceleration of a vehicle happens for numerous reasons. One of which is that the floor mat gets wedged under the gas pedal. Perhaps the throttle sensor could fail or malfunction on the electronic control unit (ECU). To find a remedy to this sudden unintentional deceleration or even unintended acceleration, manufacturers have added some programming procedures as safety measures and precautions, causing the car to stop once the accelerator and the brake are touched at the same time. This also ensures that the driver can emergency stop the vehicle even though the throttle is open once the brake is applied.

When driving a vehicle, it’s up to the driver to use only one leg or two legs. Whatever it is, it is for the driver’s comfort and convenience when maneuvering the vehicle.

Things to Know When Driving an Automatic Transmission with Two Feet

Some people can drive an automatic transmission family car with both feet. Although there’s nothing wrong with driving utilizing both feet, they may find it challenging to maneuver the vehicle, especially if the driver panics because of some obstructions ahead. Then, they might touch the wrong pedals, thinking that they should press the right ones. For instance, if the driver needs to slow down or make an emergency stop, they may accidentally step on the accelerator instead of the brake pedal.

Some experts prefer the use of one foot instead of both feet when driving automatic cars. But with a manual vehicle, then two feet may be good enough to control the vehicle better. Even though it is the driver’s preference to use either one foot or both feet, the choice still lies on their own volition and convenience. If the drivers can manage driving an automatic vehicle using both feet, that would be all right. It’s only a matter of proper driving and mindset when driving.

Is It Advisable to Drive with Two Feet?

If you ask the experts and some driving instructors, you may be told that driving with both feet depends on the specific type of vehicle you use. Suppose drivers tend to use or drive an automatic vehicle. In that case, one foot is enough to control the brake and the accelerator. Then, the driver's left foot should be on the left side, resting on the floor. This gives way to the right foot to completely control the brake and gas pedals and control the left foot brake using the other foot completely.

In case of emergencies like obstruction ahead or a need for an immediate stop of the vehicle. Drivers cannot accidentally hit both accelerator and brake or either of the two. Then, they already have a mindset of which pedal should be touched or hit, depending on the purpose — either to accelerate, slow down, or stop.

In some other cases, when driving a manual vehicle, both feet are advisable to be used because the left foot should be on the clutch pedal, and the right foot should touch either the gas or brake pedal. The gas and brake pedals both have contradicting purposes. The gas pedal serves as an accelerator that makes the engine accelerate up to its maximum speed. On the other hand, the brake pedal is designed to slow down or completely stop the vehicle when needed. Then the clutch pedal, controlled by the left foot, delivers the power and control from its engine to provide smooth movement of the vehicle. It also performs quietly and reduces the vibration which is related to driving. Be careful of driving with sandals or flips-flops while using two feet because it could make it more dangerous.

What Potential Problems Can Occur When Driving with Two Feet?

Figuratively, some drivers tend to use both feet when driving their cars. But two-foot driving for automatic car transmissions is quite bothersome.

Based on a legal point of view, two-foot driving is not explicitly prohibited. However, suppose drivers lose control and cause a collision. In that case, they may be penalized or charged with dangerous or reckless driving, causing death/bodily harm.

Newbies who mistakenly believe that they have discovered something better in driving are often practiced with both feet. They think that driving with both feet when driving either an automatic or manual vehicle is more efficient than any other way. But driving with two feet is unnecessary since you can place the right heel onto the floor while pivoting between gas and brake pedals. So, drivers don’t need to make too much effort when driving using two feet.

At some point, driving a car with two feet may cause an accident since it's extremely dangerous in which the victim may be entitled to injury lawsuits. Moreover, other drivers may unintentionally have a pedal error during an emergency maneuver. They may also hit both pedals in times of shock and panic. In a particular crisis, it is necessary to automatically do the right things based on what the drivers learned from their driving school. Suppose it already became the driver’s habit to utilize their left foot for foot braking. In that case, that is what their brain will automatically signal to them during an emergency. Thus, this mistake could be fatal.

Manual transmission vs. automatic

Driving a Manual Transmission VS Driving an Automatic Transmission

Some people may choose a manual vehicle over an automatic one. Others may prefer to choose the latter compared to the manual type. It is because people want to use a vehicle which they think is best for them. They can easily maneuver these vehicles based on their driving skills.

To completely understand the nature of manual and automatic transmissions, it would be beneficial to learn how they differ. With fundamental distinctions, these transmissions can be handled uniquely. For better reference, take a glimpse at the following explanations about choosing when driving a car. Then, decide whether you can drive a manual or an automatic one.

Manual Transmission

This type of transmission, which is also referred to as “stick-shift,” has three pedals. Drivers physically utilize sticks to change gears. In more recently manufactured vehicles, the stick is situated on its center console. But in rare situations, there are some toggle switches in steering wheels to improve the vehicle’s performance. Since there are three pedals in the manual transmission, it differs from an automatic. In a manual, there is an extra pedal called the “clutch pedal,” and it releases a clutch disk on the transmission and the engine. Then, once the pedal clutch is unconstrained, the stick should be manually changed onto the desired type of gear. After that, the clutch would be engaged once more.

Automatic Transmission

This kind of transmission provides less interaction on the driver’s end. Many people tend to use auto-transmission vehicles because it allows for a more relaxed experience. It is crucial to understand how an automatic type works to press the brake pedal properly and maneuver their vehicles. It is recommended only to use one foot in an auto-transmission vehicle when touching or to hit either the gas or brake pedal.

An auto-transmission vehicle is further categorized into two categories — dual-clutch and traditional automatic. From the driver’s standpoint, these two classifications can be handled without requiring them to use manual input. These distinctions are noticeable by just looking inside the vehicle. The two classifications of it are specified below:

1. Dual-clutch transmission — It connects the engine with pairs of clutches.

2. Traditional auto-transmission — It utilizes a hydraulic form of the torque converter, which connects the engine.

These two classifications are designed to obtain an excellent performance level and enhance efficiency.

An auto-transmission vehicle may vary in different gear ranges, containing more accessible selections available and additional gears. These multiple gears allow quicker acceleration and enhanced fuel economy.

Automatic transmission vehicles have several advantages, such as better for fast acceleration, exceptional driving conditions, and reduced distraction.

So, when driving a vehicle, drivers should opt for what specific type of vehicle they will use, based on their skills and preferences. Either of these two types is good enough for them, giving them the opportunity to use at least one foot or even both feet while driving.

Tips to Consider When Driving a Car

When driving a vehicle, be it an auto-transmission or a manual, it would always be better to be cautious and attentive. Aside from that, see to it that they are using the right car suited for themselves. When driving, they need to use either one foot or two feet, depending on the car/vehicle that they are using. For some additional driving tips, the following are the things that they need to consider for safety precautions:

1. Set a proper mindset for driving — Drivers should have focus and attention when driving. They need to set their mind to the specific car they are utilizing. They need to decide if they need to use only one foot or both feet. If it’s an automatic car, then one leg is highly recommended, but both feet can be used if it’s a manual transmission.

2. Properly use either foot on the aligned pedals — As much as possible, don’t cross over the pedals. The driver’s right leg should be aligned on the two pedals for the accelerator and gas. Then, the left foot should be aligned either on the floor or the clutch pedal if they are using a manual car transmission. This helps you not to touch or hit the wrong pedal, which may cause an accident, allowing accident lawsuits against yourself.

3. Use only the right foot for automatic cars — If drivers are not used to it since they’re used to hitting the pedals with their left foot, they should start trying to make it for this type of car. This will help them avoid possible accidents on the public highway, especially in times of shock and emergency.

4. Use both feet for manual cars — Of course, drivers need to use both the right and the left foot when driving a manual vehicle. The left foot brake pedals should only be for clutch pedals or on the ground, and the left leg must be for the left foot brake or gas accelerator.

5. Make use of the rear brakes properly — Make sure to use these properly. Drivers should not be shocked when troubles occur while driving since drivers may lose control and accidentally use the left foot brake pedals.

6. Check the brake lights and the brake fluid every time they drive the car — Checking the transmission fluid, brake lights, and other essential parts of the vehicle are some of the safety measures required to do before leaving their place for a specific destination. It's also necessary to take note of the gas mileage at the same time so that drivers can estimate the distance of their travel.

These things will help individuals to drive their car over extended periods. With this, they can have their car moved toward their desired destination, without any problem. For additional safety precautions, they can also seek out insurance companies and avail themselves of the appropriate insurance at the same time.

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