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Why Can’t We Use Different Feet for the Brake & Acceleration in Auto Cars?

If you ever drove the automatic car, you must have noticed the difference between the manual and automatic vehicle driving technique. In simple words, unlike a manual car, you are recommended to use one foot for brake and accelerator in an automatic vehicle.

Did this driving tip, make you wonder, why is it so? If it’s a yes, then let’s find the answer for it. However, before delving deeper into this discussion, you can consider looking at the basic driving skills for better comprehension of the topic.

Automatic Vehicle Driving Technique: Elemental

While you learn the basic driving skills for an automatic vehicle, maintain your focus no stopping and starting. In other words, accelerator and brake pedal.

Tip: Start your driving lessons for an automatic car on the straight and quiet road.

1. Learn the Pedals on Floor

After sitting in the driver seat, you can see two pedals, near your foot. Out of which, the one on the left side is the brake whereas the right one is the accelerator. Both the pedals use right leg only while the left foot is on rest (as defined by driving experts under automatic vehicle driving technique).

2. Understand the Gear Shift

The standard automatic car has the following defined type of gear panel.

D: The alphabet describes the operation “drive” in the forward direction. (DRIVE)

R: This instructs the vehicle to move in a backward direction. (REVERSE)

N: On traffic lights or at an intersection, this “No Gear” panel is selected. However, during this gear panel, keep a foot on the brake for preventing the vehicle from rolling backward or forward. (NEUTRAL)

P: Certain cars demand depressing of the brake pedal before moving into another one. Thus, you can use it when stationary, at it can lock the transmission. (PARK)

Some automatic vehicle driving technique
Gear Shift automatic vehicle driving technique. Source: AutoYas

1: To increase the car’s speed, this is the mandatory gear panel to enter. Usually, the car is locked in this gear. People prefer to drive in this gear during bad weather conditions, on a muddy road, or while going up or down the steep hills. (FIRST GEAR)

2: In bad weather conditions or while overtaking a car, your vehicle would need more power. This is the time when you move your car from 1st gear into the 2nd one. (SECOND GEAR)


Automatic Vehicle Driving Technique: Why Not Use Both Legs

After a great survey on this subject, the experts have termed it as an erroneous method of driving an automatic vehicle. Actually, this judgment was reached based on the following two reasons:

1. Severe Damage to Car Parts

People who usually use left foot for brake and right foot for accelerator seem to have damaged their automatic cars badly. This is because, when using both the feet, sometimes the driver steps on both the pedal simultaneously. As a result, more strain is put on transmission fluid, brake, and torque converter. Obviously, this would reduce the efficiency of car parts and its essential controls.

Thus, people are not taught to drive using two feet for vehicle’s durability.

2. Causes More Vehicle Crashes

Another issue is the fact that while driving if your foot settles on the brake a little, this may confuse the rider behind you. And, probably, your car would be hit from behind.

Besides this, in panic/emergency situation, if both the feet go down on the pedal at once, either this may cause a collision with another vehicle or, the vehicle would immediately come to halt!

Less crashes due to automatic vehicle driving technique
Uses of automatic vehicle driving technique. Photo: Chris Clor Creative/Getty Images

Therefore, if you want to avoid accidents or any other severe damage to your vehicle, it’s advised to follow the experts’ automatic vehicle driving technique.

  1. Kelvin says

    A Very nice tip i can remember at one time I failed a job interview while i was given an automatic car to drive

  2. Mwachia says

    I disagree on neutral gear. Do not use this gear on traffic lights or intersection u may end up damaging gear box. N- When being towed.
    Put overdrive off when u want to overtake or branching from a feeder road to main road, then switch the button on

  3. Cautious Driver says

    Your description of the gears 1 and 2 are flawed, and can cause a driver to potentially shift incorrectly and even potentially lead to damage, early failure or improper driving procedures.

    You indicate: “To increase the car’s speed, this is the mandatory gear panel to enter.” This is incorrect!!!!
    First Gear is used for steep climbs, difficult terrain where *low speed* and thus greater torque control (more power to the wheels at low speed) is needed. Someone attempting to shift to first gear while driving to attain greater speed (as is suggested in your description) WILL cause damage to his transmission.

    “In bad weather conditions or while overtaking a car, your vehicle would need more power. This is the time when you move your car from 1st gear into the 2nd one. (SECOND GEAR)”
    This is also very incorrect!!! While driving normally (in “D”), a car if needed, WILL automatically shift into 2nd gear to provide the additional power. Manually shifting into 2 is only required if there is a specific (and manual) need for additional power and wish to not allow the car to automatically shift to a higher hear – thus locking it in 2nd gear. This is also not commonly used for regular or highway driving. 2nd gear would also serve, as for 1st, for greater control and torque in difficult rough or muddy terrain.

    The point of using N at intersections and traffic lights has already been addressed (don’t do it, this is why you already have an automatic transmission) by another commentor.

    1. Gerry George says

      I agree with the rebuttals put forward to address the incorrect points (Neutral, 1st and 2nd gear usage).

      This is actually not the first time I have noted many incorrect claims made by this writer (Matsumoto Naoki) in his blogs about operating a car. I think there needs to be better oversight and review by the publisher (Car of Japan) over those articles before publication to avoid giving incorrect information to readers.

  4. Kenny says

    I’m one of the both legs user, it wouldn’t be any damage or accident as long as you can control both legs on auto cars. My experience in both legs are superb, I brakes and accelerates quicker while others have to move up and change from right to left pedal. Thus, that could possibly save you from accident by saving millisecond. Plus, I do not have ABS in my saga blm.

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