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Is It Illegal to Use Both Feet to Drive?


Driving with both feet is a habit for most road users. This questionable habit is especially seen in manual vehicle operators transitioning to an automatic transmission vehicle. So, back to the question for today, is it illegal to use both feet to drive?

No, it is not illegal to use both feet to drive. There is no official law against driving your vehicle with two feet. It is solely the driver’s decision on how many feet to use while driving as far as drivers maintain safe road practices.

Most automatic car operators use their right foot to apply both the brake and the accelerator pedal. However, several others prefer to use two feet, the right foot for the accelerator and the left foot for brakes, especially manual vehicle operators, because of the clutch.

Other drivers feel it is safer to drive with both feet as it gives faster access to pedals If an emergency ever arises. However, this decision comes with potential hazards. Let us weigh the pros and cons.

The Case for Automatic Vehicles

Driving with two feet is one of the don’ts when learning how to drive an automatic vehicle as there is little interaction between the driver and his vehicle.

With the clutch removed, the connection between the car’s transmission and the engine is automatic, reducing the need to drive with both feet.

two feet for driving car

The Case for Manual Vehicles

Driving with both feet is normal in a manual transmission because of the extra clutch pedal. The left foot operates the clutch and pressing down hard on it enables driver to switch gears.

This is a habit for manual car operators and can be hard to unlearn if they attempt to switch over to an automatic vehicle. A habit that will put unnecessary stress on the brake in the case of automatic vehicles.

Fun fact: Street racers use left-foot braking to micromanage weight transfer in their vehicles. Racers who drive older rally cars use left-foot braking to keep the turbocharger coiled while braking at a corner. 

Pros of Using Both Feet to Drive

Quicker reaction time: A driver who drives with both feet, if fully concentrated, will have a faster reaction time when compared to his one-foot counterpart. With both feet aligned on both pedals, it will be easier to brake and accelerate accordingly without having to switch pedals.

Accident Prevention: Oddly enough, this is a pro for driving with both feet and one foot, depending on the expert you ask.

On the side of two feet, experts believe that with your two-foot aligned on your brake and acceleration pedal, chances of confusion while driving reduces, and maneuverability increases.

Cons of Using Both Feet to Drive

Accidental application of pedals: The most widespread problem of driving with both feet is the tendency to accelerate and accidentally apply the brakes. Newer car models have a feature that stops your car when a driver applies accelerator and brake pedal simultaneously.

Although this is a safety feature. It can cause serious problems if your car stops in the middle of the road. Driving with both feet also makes Emergency maneuvers harder as it increases the tendency to step on the wrong pedal in heightened situations.

Wear and tear: When driving long distances, using both feet might not be the best idea. Why? Because it will be easier for our feet to get tired. This consequently cause you to lean on pedals in the bid to rest your foot. 

The continuous application of the brakes over time will cause brake pads to heat up and consequently wear out, reducing fuel economy and causing strains on the engine as it needs to work hard to overcome the drag from brakes.

Increased Pressure on foot: A footrest/ Dead pedal is provided in vehicles for drivers to rest their feet on when driving. It is a comfortable space on the car floor for your other foot to rest when unemployed. 

A footrest also gives drivers balance in their car seats and allows them to exercise required Pressure on the employed foot. When driving with both feet, road users ignore the footrest, making the driver unstable while driving.

Can You Drive With Both Feet During a Driver’s Test?

You can use your two feet during a driver’s test if that is your preferred option. You will not fail a driver’s test for opting to do so. However, you will have to demonstrate a high standard of vehicle control.

both feet to drive car

What is a high standard of vehicle control?

Driver test examiners are more focused on candidates demonstrating an elevatedlevel of control during the test and that the driver understands the road rules.

If you intend to use two feet during a driver’s test, I advise you to avoid making these two mistakes.

  1. Riding the brake: The constant involuntary contact of your foot with the brake pedal is known as riding the brake pedal. If your examiner notices this, there is a high probability of failing the test. It is best to keep your feet resting on the car floor when not using the brake.
  2. Braking and accelerating simultaneously: Hitting the brake and accelerator simultaneously are seen as improper pedal use. This can lead to destabilization of your vehicle, brake wear, and Increased fuel consumption. An examiner can fail you if this is noticed in your driving.

So, Is It Illegal to Use Both Feet to Drive?

There is No legislation that outlaws driving with both feet; however, there have been numerous debates among safety experts. Some of the major drawbacks mentioned in these discussions are

  • Drivers are most likely to press the brakes while pressing the accelerator 
  • Two feet drivers Ruin drive train, and brake light the flickering will confuse other road users

But if you are comfortable and can avoid these mistakes, go ahead. It all boils down to preference. As for it being illegal? It absolutely is not. If you know someone who brakes with the left foot and found this article insightful, kindly share it with them.

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