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Old May 14th, 2019, 01:09 PM   #1
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Braking routine

So a bit of a minor fender bender this AM. I was not involved. Happened about half a block away. An older gentleman pulled into his neighbours driveway as construction had his normal parking spot blocked. Moving at maybe 1 KPH he hit the brake but landed on the gas pedal. Long story short fairly new and expensive pick-up truck has a bumper that is bent out of shape. Homeowner is as well, as there could be foundation wall damage. BTW to show how dull life is for small town Mounties, two police cars showed up within minutes.

Did get me thinking though. We were all taught to remove the right foot from the gas then use that foot to stand on the brake. 40-50 years ago there were compelling reasons for this; the left foot might be needed for the clutch, or if the brakes failed that left foot was needed to hit the e-Brake pedal. Also there was the heel-toe trick we all needed to master, in order to start a standard shift on a steep hill.

With todays cars almost all having automatic transmissions, is this still the best way? If you use the left foot to brake there is almost zero chance of mistaking throttle for brake, even when wearing construction or cowboy boots. OTOH with some modern over-horsed vehicles a bit of throttle could possibly overpower the brakes.
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Old May 14th, 2019, 01:46 PM   #2
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now a days - e brake is a button on the centre console or in fancy cars a button on the left of the driver's seat, as i learned Ferrari does it so their idiot owners can idle their cars once a week in the driveway and no one can drive off lol - making finding the e brake too much work.

But that said I have always used my right foot only, unless on a steep hill going up or down and depending on the SUV we drive some have hill decent mode..
that said every once an a while i do see cars inside walls/malls or in such a manner that you wonder how in the [email protected]#K is that even possible..
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Old May 14th, 2019, 09:46 PM   #3
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As an old school European driver with no accidents in 30 years, I can tell you I prefer gear shifters with a genuine clutch anytime.

When occasionally having to drive an automatic, I still use my left foot, hot on the brake.
This is also useful for a kickdown acceleration immediately followed by throttling down as a means of shifting to a lower gear to brake on the engine as well.

Besides, this trick is also very useful to take very sharp turns while on high speed with an automatic: kick down the gas & brake at the same time to block the differential gear of your car.

I believe I've picked up this trick in "The French Connection", not sure.
But it does make a difference!
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Old May 14th, 2019, 10:58 PM   #4
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Old May 14th, 2019, 11:08 PM   #5
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Old May 14th, 2019, 11:49 PM   #6
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None the less: kickdowner on the gas & braking at the same time (= 2 feet operation) can be a real life saver! Believe you me!
Wasn't that what you inquired about?
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Old May 14th, 2019, 11:58 PM   #7
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I too grew up in the era of manual cars, and in India, manual is still the norm. Not many cars come with automatic gearboxes. Therefore, I too have it ingrained in me to use only my Right foot for acceleration and braking.

That said, I am also very used to go-karts where the brake is on the Left foot and I am quite used to braking with my Left foot too.

The issue for me with Left-foot braking in automatic cars is that the brake pedal it too far to the Right for the Left foot to comfortably reach. The clutch pedal in manuals is placed in a position that is comfortable for the Left foot; but the brake pedal in autos is not (though the pedal is wider than in manuals).

I have not found a way to make the brake pedal w-i-d-e enough to do Left-foot braking. If I did, I would not hesitate to switch.

Cheers
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Old May 15th, 2019, 10:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiltAgain View Post

I have not found a way to make the brake pedal w-i-d-e enough to do Left-foot braking. If I did, I would not hesitate to switch.

Cheers
They used to make bolt-on wide pedal covers to widen the brake pedal in older cars. I would be very surprised if Amazon, for example, did not still carry such an item to widen your pedal to solve your issue. A quick search would confirm that.
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Old May 15th, 2019, 11:57 AM   #9
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I used to race in autocross events and found left foot brake applications useful to stabilize the car when it began to oversteer in turns. My car had a high HP to weight ratio and was prone to oversteering in turns. A quick stab on the brake peddle is all it takes.

Other than that ... never.

I sometimes see vehicles ahead of me driving along with their brake lights on. I suspect they are resting their left foot on the brake peddle. Gotta keep those brakes HOT.
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Old May 15th, 2019, 01:39 PM   #10
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I sometimes see vehicles ahead of me driving along with their brake lights on. I suspect they are resting their left foot on the brake peddle. Gotta keep those brakes HOT.

+1. And I always wondered about such drivers, And even more when I see their brake lights come on, Then off... On, Then off... On, Then off...

Even on Dry days and no need to dry the brakes off. I guess they do want to keep them HOT!!! ;-)


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