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Old 11-14-2013, 02:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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You left foot braker?

When I do drive an auto, its much smoother with less time delay at
stoplights/signs. I know for many of you, an auto trans. is all you know.

I first tried it after reading an advanced driving book with several
overall tips.

It was at least 5 years after I first started driving, when this happened.
Certainly in 1971, the drivers ed teachers never mentioned this as a
possibility.

I was wondering how far down your driving experience, that you first tried it?


I know it was awkward at first, like trying to throw a baseball with your
off hand.

It took a while to stick! When you learn right foot first, I've found that
in a critical emergency split second manuever, that I reverted back to
the right foot.

Is anybody teaching left foot to yet unlicensed drivers now?

Do you think its better to bed them in with right foot first, as to keep
confusion down?

If to be learned LATER: how much later????

Of course some vehicles have limited space, the base of some steering
columns make it awkward for people with large feet/boots etc...
to do this gracefully.

Would appreciate your thoughts!

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Old 11-14-2013, 02:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My braking is pretty much planned, so no need. There is some performance to be had there, but you have to be very aggressive about speed, and not efficiency. You can see that in a clutch car the left foot gets used often on the pedal to set up the suspension for a turn.

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Old 11-14-2013, 02:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I own both a manual car and an automatic DAF car from '74. Tried left foot braking one day when my right foot was slightly injured (brake pedal requiring a painful amount of force). After some adjustment and sqeeking tyres I never changed back to the right foot. In this car the brake pedal is installed a dangerous distance above the gas pedal. So left foot brake definiteley safer.
Here in NL if you do your drivers exam in an automatic, you're not allowed to drive a manual.
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Old 11-14-2013, 02:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sometimes when sitting at a light, I need to adjust something (scratch my foot, fix my shoe lace, etc.) and for whatever reason that requires using my left foot on the brake. Occasionally, I leave my left foot on the brake until the light goes green. It is the most awkward sensation to accelerate! It's weird how moving from brake to throttle and moving from floor to throttle can change how your "muscle memory" pushes down the pedal.

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Originally Posted by Pandaf View Post
Here in NL if you do your drivers exam in an automatic, you're not allowed to drive a manual.
That is really interesting. I think everybody should do their exam in a big pickup/van with a manual. That way you should be able to drive just about anything, manual-auto, small-big.
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I see no problem with this technique, when done correctly. That said i find it annoying if not dangerous to follow a two foot driver who can't lift up enough to allow the brake lights to turn off. Constant brake lights should be as illegal as no brake lights as it is just as unpredictable and dangerous
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Braking with the left foot is OK in an automatic.

In a manual, I only use it to the light up the brake lights ... and any unhappy face hovering nearby, without actually slowing down .

Brake lights really catch people's attention when they're following really close ...
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Old 11-14-2013, 04:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Been left foot braking autos for a very long time. Probably since the late 1960s and it has saved my bacon on several occasions. Once I started to turn right at an intersection, with a green light. I glanced to the left and saw a car coming at 45 MPH. He blew right through the light and locked them up just past the intersection. I had hit the brakes hard before I even got completely off the gas.

Another time was when some derelict pulled onto the Interstate in front of heavy traffic going 70 MPH. Combined with situational awareness, knowing there was a clear left lane and a stab of the left foot to slow down a little, I managed to avoid a real disaster and a multi car pile up which could have been deadly. The idiot just drove onto the highway at a 45 degree angle without accelerating in the service lane at all.

A couple more times it has given me a better chance when someone swerved over into my lane on a two lane road, with a ditch 2 feet from the roads edge.

The funny thing about the Fiesta. If you do not get your foot completely off the brake when you get ready to accelerate, the tranny computer does not shift properly and you get some jerking. I even disconnected the battery cable to reset the CPU, before I realized that it was my left foot touching the brake pedal.

Sometimes the difference between an accident and a close call is having your left foot ready for virtually instant braking instead of having to lift it off the gas pedal and applying the brake, with the possibility of getting your foot stuck under the brake pedal.

I know left foot braking is frowned upon by many, but for me it is an additional advantage. My reaction time is greatly reduced and it has helped me avoid serious injury on several occasions.

regards
Mech
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Racing go-karts, you don't have a choice. Which also tends to translate well to racing full size race cars. As Old Mech said, you will have much better reaction times if you don't have to lift off the accelerator before pushing on the brake with the same foot.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If you aren't riding the brake lights, who cares. But as evidenced by mech, it is really easy to do since your foot is more in the air and wants to rest on something (like the gas pedal). Plus you don't want to drag the brakes (anti-efficiency)

So, like not going slow in the center lane, don't ride your brakes, you will look like a serious geezer if you are coasting slow AND your brake lights are flashing
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm surprised at all the left foot braking going on here. I'm not surprised about all of it "out there" though; I'm always behind some dolt who's brake lights are on yet they aren't decelerating (why do I always see vehicles accelerating away from stop lights with their brake lights on?) I especially love the ones that have the brake lights come on at every curve on a curvy road... even if they aren't perceptively slowing at all. Then I point my finger up in the air and say, "Another method of slowing down is to take your foot off the gas." But they never hear me.

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