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Left foot braking
Old 06-21-2016, 11:46 AM   #1
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Left foot braking

Looks like I need to learn to drive again. Just discovered something about my new Honda - when you touch the brake pedal the fuel to the engine is cut off, even if you are accelerating. Must be a safety thing. A PITA for me, I spent my adult life in a big city where driving is like trench warfare - each inch of progress is a major battle and two foot driving is a life preserving skill. Well, we'll soon see if this old dog can be taught a new trick.
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Old 06-21-2016, 07:25 PM   #2
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Looks like I need to learn to drive again. Just discovered something about my new Honda - when you touch the brake pedal the fuel to the engine is cut off, even if you are accelerating. Must be a safety thing. A PITA for me, I spent my adult life in a big city where driving is like trench warfare - each inch of progress is a major battle and two foot driving is a life preserving skill. Well, we'll soon see if this old dog can be taught a new trick.
Good luck with that. How aggravating. Auto manufacturers are doing a great job of persuading me not to buy a new car.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:01 AM   #3
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Looks like I need to learn to drive again. Just discovered something about my new Honda - when you touch the brake pedal the fuel to the engine is cut off, even if you are accelerating. Must be a safety thing. A PITA for me, I spent my adult life in a big city where driving is like trench warfare - each inch of progress is a major battle and two foot driving is a life preserving skill. Well, we'll soon see if this old dog can be taught a new trick.
Interesting--I just asked DH about this and neither of us ever has used our left foot on the brake, and I've only driven automatics--DH at least had the clutch to keep that foot occupied back in the day. But that must be a new development in all new cars--wonder what we'll have to get used to if we ever pull the trigger on a new car this year.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:24 AM   #4
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Interesting--I just asked DH about this and neither of us ever has used our left foot on the brake, and I've only driven automatics--DH at least had the clutch to keep that foot occupied back in the day. But that must be a new development in all new cars--wonder what we'll have to get used to if we ever pull the trigger on a new car this year.
My hybrid Escape will not rev if the brake is engaged. The gas pedal goes down, but the engine does not respond. I only discovered this by accident because I drive with one foot.
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:15 PM   #5
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I've never imagined left foot braking, and can't see what the value would be. Even when I finally freed up the left foot from driving clutch I never thought of it. I drove for decades in DC traffic, so it's not like I was in a one stop light town. Why do you do that? What does it buy you?
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:35 PM   #6
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I've never imagined left foot braking, and can't see what the value would be. Even when I finally freed up the left foot from driving clutch I never thought of it. I drove for decades in DC traffic, so it's not like I was in a one stop light town. Why do you do that? What does it buy you?
In my opinion, who cares? I haven't ever done that either, but in my view that decision should be MichaelB's to make.
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Old 06-22-2016, 03:13 PM   #7
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It's probably safer to always use one foot exclusively to brake and the other for acceleration--we have had several drivers in my town go over curbs and into store windows, the drivers thinking they were braking vs hitting the gas. If kids in drivers ed were taught two-footed driving from the get-go, their feet might get muscle memory (and most will never drive a clutch so no big deal to not learn that). Maybe some places already teach that.
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Old 06-22-2016, 03:19 PM   #8
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In my opinion, who cares? I haven't ever done that either, but in my view that decision should be MichaelB's to make.

Curious minds want to know?

The only time I've used both feet is when stopped on a steep incline. I'd gradually add gas while holding the brake to minimize the car from rolling backwards.

Our newer car has made this easier. It comes with an option you can enable to basically do the same thing. It leaves the brake engaged until it detects enough acceleration.
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Old 06-22-2016, 03:31 PM   #9
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In my opinion, who cares? I haven't ever done that either, but in my view that decision should be MichaelB's to make.
No, MichaelB should definitely get our permission to drive with both feet.


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Old 06-22-2016, 04:19 PM   #10
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How about we take this into a separate thread?
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Old 06-22-2016, 04:31 PM   #11
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How about we take this into a separate thread?
If you take your left foot off the brake maybe someone can move it.
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:04 PM   #12
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In my opinion, who cares? I haven't ever done that either, but in my view that decision should be MichaelB's to make.
Seriously? All I was saying was I never even thought of doing it, and asked what the reason would be. I was curious, and don't think it was worded in any aggressive or judgmental way. If I'm wrong, I apologize to Michael, but I reread my post and still don't see it. I'm really curious, what is the advantage of doing two foot driving (without a clutch).
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:32 PM   #13
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It's probably safer to always use one foot exclusively to brake and the other for acceleration--we have had several drivers in my town go over curbs and into store windows, the drivers thinking they were braking vs hitting the gas. If kids in drivers ed were taught two-footed driving from the get-go, their feet might get muscle memory (and most will never drive a clutch so no big deal to not learn that). Maybe some places already teach that.
For me one footed driving is as ingrained as toilet training, which is why I never considered two footing it. Plus clutches were common back then. I was told back in driver school (long, long ago) that the reason not to do it was in case of an emergency people tend to slam both feet down. If one is on the brake and one is on the accelerator, there's no telling what the car will do. But it sounds like in heavy traffic there might be a positive reason. I was curious what it would be. As far as the drivers thinking they were hitting the brake and hitting the accelerator instead, that sounds like what might happened to a brand new, or possibly impaired driver.

By the way, if the mods want to make this it's own thread, that's fine by me. I like understanding why people do things differently than I do, and am curious how many people do this.
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:53 PM   #14
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Having driven manual transmissions my whole life, it's a good bet that I have never braked with my left foot, even in automatic rental cars. I would feel remarkably awkward doing it.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:16 PM   #15
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Just drove through San Francisco. I kept my left foot on the brake as I accelerated uphill at the traffic lights. Crazy steep.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:22 PM   #16
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My left foot is exclusively used for my car's clutch. The only foot that ever sees a brake pedal is my right foot. Like Gumby, when I rent cars (usually auto trans), I never use my left foot for braking.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:37 PM   #17
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... As far as the drivers thinking they were hitting the brake and hitting the accelerator instead, that sounds like what might happened to a brand new, or possibly impaired driver....
The confused drivers who mistook the gas pedal for the brake were all way past the point where their keys should have been taken away from them but nobody wanted to hurt their feelings, and they were only a few blocks from home, etc., etc. One was the MIL of a good friend. Fortunately no one was hurt much. But maybe a lifetime of only braking with the left foot might have prevented some of the accidents. Who knows--I use only my right foot for both.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:51 PM   #18
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Looks like I need to learn to drive again. Just discovered something about my new Honda - when you touch the brake pedal the fuel to the engine is cut off, even if you are accelerating. Must be a safety thing. A PITA for me, I spent my adult life in a big city where driving is like trench warfare - each inch of progress is a major battle and two foot driving is a life preserving skill. Well, we'll soon see if this old dog can be taught a new trick.
There were a number of reports of cars running away i.e. the throttle stuck down, and folks did not think they could shift into neutral. So the car companies put this feature in to ensure that the brake overrides the engine in all cases, so the car can not run away if the throttle sticks.
Now have a look at cars with the adaptive cruise control and collision mitigation systems which apply the brakes if it looks like a rear end collision is coming up. It is interesting that many of the features needed for the driverless car are coming in some models, many of these help prevent the issues that could occur if one is driving and nods off.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:53 PM   #19
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Note that in the old days in colder climates there was carb icing which took holding the brake down and making the engine run a bit fast until the engine got warmed up. Of course the demise of the carb solved this set of issues.
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:07 PM   #20
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Just drove through San Francisco. I kept my left foot on the brake as I accelerated uphill at the traffic lights. Crazy steep.
You've got that right! I've been there a couple of times and once our friends took us on a mini tour. I was white knuckled and I was sitting in the back seat. I decided then and there I'd need bubble wrap covering my body if I just walked on a sidewalk.

But..I gotta say, I love San Fran.
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