You may have just started out driving and that is why you are looking up this topic. Then again, you may have been driving this way for a long time. Either way, the real question is, should you use two feet to drive?
What Foot Goes Where?
I strongly suggest not to drive with two feet. However, there are some supposed experts that say otherwise. My guess is, they have never ridden with someone that will use two feet to drive. Most cars today use automatic transmissions, so you may think, “why does it matter?” Originally, you used the right foot for the gas and brake. The left was for the clutch, so why not use two feet to drive now?
Why The Experts Think It Might Be Safer
They first are basing this off that most cars are no longer manual-transmissions. Their second basis is, that most new cars use the computer to detect if both pedals are being used simultaneously. Newer cars can detect the use of both pedals. When it does, it cut the engine power back. This way the engine won’t over power the brakes.
Experts theorize if you use two feet to drive, this can make for quicker reaction times. They feel if your foot is already on the brake. There can be no confusion in an emergency braking situation. Their studies have shown some accidents occurred because people hit the gas instead of the brake. Experts feel that a person’s reaction is going to be quicker if their foot is already on the pedal.
Here Is The Reason You Shouldn’t Use Two Feet To Drive
To counter what the experts think, and this is based off being into cars for well over 40 years. I have seen the damage and heard the stories of how a person couldn’t stop the car with two feet. If both feet are on the gas and brake, and you have to cram the brake on real hard, what happens? Your body and feet go forward, causing you to push on both the brake and the gas. Now the car is not only trying to stop the weight of the car, but also the engine power.
We have lived with power brakes for decades now. This means it takes very little pressure on the brake pedal to engage the brakes. It also means it takes very little pressure to make your brakes lights come on. Think about, how many times have you drove behind someone that their brake lights seem to stay on? This is because they use two feet to drive, and I find this incredibly dangerous. If the guy in front of you always has brakes lights on, how are you to know when they are actually stopping?
Decreased Life Expectancy Of Your Brakes
People that use two feet to drive, usually keep a slight pressure on the brake pedal. This means that your brakes are always dragging. This decreases the life of the brake pads and or shoes. Also, as previously mentioned. Two feet drivers tend to apply the brakes, while still accelerating. This overheats the brakes and can cause other issues beside just worn pads.
Overheating the brakes can be easily caused by light constant pressure on the brake pedal. Overheated brakes wear out all the seals and brake hardware. Not to mention, it increases the chance of rotor warpage. Next time you walk by a car with open sport wheels, where you can see the brakes. Look at the color of the rotor. If it has a rainbow of blues and yellows, it has been overheated. This is either because the person stops excessively hard. Or they ride the brakes all day long.
Jerky And Confused Driving
People that use two feet to drive, tend to make jerky and unstable take-offs and stops. They tend to feather off the gas after applying the brakes. This gives the passenger a light lunge forward because the car then actually starts to stop. Same on take-offs, they feather off the brake after the push on the gas. This gives the passenger a lunge back. As a passenger, if you have a tendency to get car sick, this will mess you up badly.
Your brain subconsciously knows when you are starting to slow down or take off. So, when there are these additional confusing motions. You will get sick very quickly.
Other Wears And Tears
Not only do the brakes take the brunt of the wear when you use two feet to drive. The motor mounts also take a huge stress. When trying to accelerate with the brake on, this pulls really hard on the motor mounts. Mounts are made of rubber, this pulls and stretches them, eventually causing the to crack and break.
Additionally, the added heat that comes from overheating the brakes, wears out the hub bearing. When the brakes get hot, it has to send that heat somewhere. Since the rotors run on the wheel bearing hub, it gets a lot of the heat. Heat kills and shortens the life of bearings. This can affect the CV Axles as well.
Accidental Confused Pedal Use
The experts claim that using two feet will reduce accidental acceleration or braking. This really isn’t true, in both methods, people have made the same mistake. When people panic or get stressed, they just start reacting. So, if they use two feet to drive, they end up pushing both pedals or the wrong one. Same with using your right foot to drive. In a panic, you might hit the wrong pedal.
They try and try to make the car idiot proof every year. All they are doing are making drivers complete idiots. If a person cannot manage handling a car completely manually, they don’t need to be behind the wheel. I see cars that can drive themselves or parallel park or auto brake great for handicap people. But if you are not handicap, learn to really drive.
Everyone that owns and drives a car, need to become familiar with it. When I got my first car, I learned to drive it from the passenger side. I took it out in parking lots and learned the cars stopping limits and how fast it could accelerate. By the end of the week, there wasn’t anything I didn’t know about my car. I also learned to stunt drive with the same method.
So, become familiar with every aspect of your car. Learn to drive with your right foot. You never know when you might be thrown behind a manual transmission. Also, most cars a footrest for the left foot, so learn to use that. You cannot use two feet to drive with cruise control on. Any touch on the brake pedal will shut it off. Which this unsteady driving is also dangerous.
Use all your senses when driving, especially pay attention to your surroundings. This means, stay off the stupid phone. You need to be safe and us other drivers need you to be safe to help keep us all safe. Just take the time to learn to drive with one foot. It will serve you and your car better in the long run. If you are new to driving, or just learning. I would suggest taking Driver’s Education, there is a facility in every state.