Driving with both feet was pretty standard back in the day before most vehicle manufacturers opted for automatic transmission.
Drivers had one foot being used for either the accelerator or the brake pedal, and then the other was used for the clutch. Such a setup improves road safety, as you can’t press the gas and brake pedals accidentally.
But then, what about automatic vehicles that have two pedals? What does the law say about driving with both feet?
Driving with both feet is legal in most states. However, it isn’t as safe as you’d think. If you’re new to driving, make sure you drive with one foot for both the brake and accelerator. Additionally, you probably will not be allowed to complete the driving test if you drive with both feet.
Today’s article delves into driving with one or both feet and why either can suit you.
Legal Considerations for Driving With Two Feet
Two foot driving for automatic transmission cars isn’t ideal and is discouraged for safety reasons. Why is it discouraged?
Traffic laws prohibit any modifications to your car or driving practices that endanger the lives of others.
If you’re involved in a road accident, and it’s determined that your driving habit with both feet is the cause, you’ll be charged with reckless driving.
“Idling” your foot over one of the pedals is very dangerous as well. By nature, we generally tend to anchor one of our feet to gauge the effort we should apply with the other.
Vehicle manufacturers design cars with a dead pedal to provide the driver with a resting pedal, creating more stability when braking and accelerating.
Pros of Driving With Two Feet
Faster Response Times
Using your left foot for the brakes and the right foot for the gas eliminates the microseconds wasted when shifting your right foot to your brake pedal.
This little time is crucial in an emergency and may save you from rear-ending another vehicle or veering off the road.
Fewer Chances of Confusing the Pedals
If you’re accustomed to driving with both feet, your brain will subconsciously tell you which pedal to press, especially in an emergency. However, driving with both foot can be dangerous if you’re new to the driving style.
You might subconsciously press the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal, which can be catastrophic.
Cons of Driving With Two Feet
Accidental Acceleration or Braking
Drivers who panic in emergencies tend to confuse the two pedals and may press both simultaneously or end up pressing the wrong pedal.
This often happens to learners who aren’t accustomed to driving on roads.
Drivers Used to Manual Transmission
When driving a manual transmission, we should press the clutch up to a point when we feel that the engine has disengaged from the transmission. In some cases, this can mean pressing it all the way down.
And, for most drivers shifting from the manual to the automatic transmission, this habit stays with them.
And years of using the left foot on the clutch pedal might result in over-pressing the brake pedal if the driver attempts to use the left foot for the brakes.
Increased Wear and Tear of the Brakes
Some proponents of two-feet driving hover their left foot on the brake pedal and only press it when necessary.
This works out until they get tired and opt to rest their foot on the pedal, which gets dangerous quickly.
Even the slightest amount of braking will heat the brakes and cause them to wear out faster in the long run.
Poor Fuel Economy
Resting your foot on the brake pedal increases your vehicle’s fuel consumption. The engine and other components will struggle more to achieve a given speed since they must overcome the braking.
Is Driving With Two Feet Dangerous?
Driving instructors detest driving with two feet for safety reasons. And, as much as it isn’t a law, driving with two feet in an automatic transmission vehicle will cause you many problems.
They include accidentally pressing the wrong pedal, accidental over braking or acceleration, being distracted while trying to figure out which pedal to use, poor fuel economy, and fatigue, as you’ll need to shift each foot separately.
However, driving with only one foot in a manual car is catastrophic and unimaginable. Manual cars have three pedals; the gas, brake, and clutch.
For most automatic cars, driving with two feet can be very dangerous.
Do Cops Drive With Both Feet?
No. It isn’t a requirement that cops must drive with both feet. Therefore, whether they can do so comes down to personal preference.
However, it isn’t advisable for police officers to brake with the left foot, as they will also be endangering the lives of the public.
Cops prefer to follow at a safe distance during high-speed chases.
However, if the cops find the vehicle more maneuverable and responsive when using both feet during a pursuit, they are allowed to do so.
Do Race Car Drivers Drive With Both Feet?
Yes. Driving with both feet is known as the left-foot braking technique in racing.
Race cars are slightly different since stepping on both the brake and gas pedals doesn’t result in a brake override.
Brake override systems override a vehicle’s throttle and stop it when both accelerator and brake pedals are depressed simultaneously.
And since races are won by the slightest of margins, race drivers optimize their reaction times by reducing time wastage while shifting the right foot between the brake and gas pedals.
The technique allows for better positioning, braking, and optimum acceleration out of the corner into the straight.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Driving With Two Feet Illegal in Texas?
Driving with two feet is legal in Texas. However, you’ll be charged for reckless driving if your driving causes a collision or accident.
Additionally, you can’t drive three-pedal manual transmission vehicles without using both feet.
Is Driving With Two Feet Illegal in California?
Driving with two feet is legal in California. However, you’ll be charged for reckless driving if your two-feet driving causes a collision or accident.
Conclusion for Driving Safely with Two Feet
For the most part, unless you’re driving a manual car, it’s not advised to drive with both feet, as this causes many hazards for yourself, other drivers, and also creates more wear-and-tear on your car.
Unless it’s truly your preferred way to drive, it’s recommended to only use one foot.