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#1 Jul 25 2012 at 7:40 PM Rating: Decent
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My god daughter just got her learners permit, and this subject came up and since I'm bored of random semantic arguments, I figured I'd toss out the question:

When driving an automatic transmission car, what foot do you use on which pedal(s)?
Right foot only for both accelerator and brake.:46 (92.0%)
Two pedals, two feet. Duh!:1 (2.0%)
Sometimes one foot, sometimes both:1 (2.0%)
I don't have feet! :(:2 (4.0%)
Total:50


Edited, Jul 25th 2012 6:40pm by gbaji
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#2 Jul 25 2012 at 7:41 PM Rating: Excellent
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Your left foot is for the clutch. If there's no clutch your left foot is for sitting comfortably.
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#3 Jul 25 2012 at 7:46 PM Rating: Excellent
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Automatic, always right foot only. Of course when I first started learning to drive my grandfather INSISTED that I use both feet, one on the brake and one on the accelerator. It was wrong, but he forced me and my aunt to when he was letting us practice driving.

If you use both feet, you'll be more likely to ride the brake. Causing wear on your pads and your brake lights to be on even when you aren't actively braking, annoying other drivers.
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#4 Jul 25 2012 at 7:47 PM Rating: Excellent
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
Your left foot is for the clutch. If there's no clutch your left foot is for sitting comfortably.


Or for resting at a nearly impossible angle on the dashboard or driver-side window ledge. One of my co-workers drove like that, and I was sure it was only a matter of time until a pothole or speed bump broke his leg/hip.
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#5 Jul 25 2012 at 7:58 PM Rating: Excellent
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Left leg should be hanging out the driver's side window.
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#6 Jul 25 2012 at 7:59 PM Rating: Excellent
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when you have large shoes. often times you inadvertantly end up using both pedals with one foot... at the same time...
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#7 Jul 25 2012 at 8:02 PM Rating: Good
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Dread Lörd Kaolian wrote:
when you have large shoes. often times you inadvertantly end up using both pedals with one foot... at the same time...


I only wear a size 12, and if I'm not careful the side of my shoe gets caught underneath the break pedal, or I hit both accidentally. It's worse in some cars than others. My mother has a Taurus, and I constantly clip the brake with my foot as I'm pressing the accelerator.

The brake and accelerator are just too close together on most vehicles to be operated by separate feet. It's designed for single foot operation.
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#8 Jul 25 2012 at 8:15 PM Rating: Default
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TirithRR wrote:
Dread Lörd Kaolian wrote:
when you have large shoes. often times you inadvertantly end up using both pedals with one foot... at the same time...


I only wear a size 12, and if I'm not careful the side of my shoe gets caught underneath the break pedal, or I hit both accidentally. It's worse in some cars than others. My mother has a Taurus, and I constantly clip the brake with my foot as I'm pressing the accelerator.

The brake and accelerator are just too close together on most vehicles to be operated by separate feet. It's designed for single foot operation.


They didn't used to be so close together though. One could argue that if they put them farther apart, then they could more easily be operated with two feet *and* would reduce the risk of someone with big feet accidentally hitting both (or getting a foot stuck under the brake pedal). I have a theory that manufacturers have moved them closer together to make it easier for people to use one foot and lazily swivel it to use the pedals. Which I think is a bad idea, of course.
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#9 Jul 25 2012 at 8:25 PM Rating: Excellent
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Brake? Do you people not have car horns?
#10 Jul 25 2012 at 10:39 PM Rating: Good
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Allegory wrote:
Brake? Do you people not have car horns?


I bet Nobby's automobile does.
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#11 Jul 26 2012 at 12:38 AM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
Left leg should be hanging out the driver's side window.
I think that's how my aunt got a ticket for "obstruction of view" once.

Edit: After posting, I realize that it sounds a lot naughtier than it is.

Edited, Jul 26th 2012 12:38am by Poldaran
#12 Jul 26 2012 at 6:11 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
One could argue that if they put them farther apart, then they could more easily be operated with two feet *and* would reduce the risk of someone with big feet accidentally hitting both (or getting a foot stuck under the brake pedal). I have a theory that manufacturers have moved them closer together to make it easier for people to use one foot and lazily swivel it to use the pedals. Which I think is a bad idea, of course.

One could argue about anything. Smiley: nod

Today's auto-tranny cars are made for one-foot operation. I doubt if the design was to appease those lazy-footed liberals but more likely was spurred by simplicity, safety and performance.

I'm assuming your god-daughter is not getting her driving instruction from you?
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#13 Jul 26 2012 at 7:02 AM Rating: Excellent
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I assume it's just a carry over from manual transmissions where the left foot was busy with the clutch. Simply not using the left foot any longer is an easier transition than putting it on brake duty.
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#14 Jul 26 2012 at 8:15 AM Rating: Decent
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gbaji wrote:
My god daughter just got her learners permit, and this subject came up and since I'm bored of random semantic arguments,

If only this were true!
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#15 Jul 26 2012 at 9:21 AM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
I assume it's just a carry over from manual transmissions where the left foot was busy with the clutch. Simply not using the left foot any longer is an easier transition than putting it on brake duty.


Anecdotally (Is that a word? Firefox says it isn't, but I'm not listening to it today, besides I probably just can't spell, and it sounds real.) that's what I did when I finally transitioned to an automatic. Now the left foot is for helping you shift your weight when your **** starts to go numb after 5 hours of driving. Smiley: nod

Also, I miss my old Jeep now... Smiley: cry




Edited, Jul 26th 2012 8:21am by someproteinguy
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#16 Jul 26 2012 at 9:53 AM Rating: Good
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someproteinguy wrote:

Also, I miss my old Jeep now... Smiley: cry




Edited, Jul 26th 2012 8:21am by someproteinguy
I miss my little Mazda (zoom zoom zoom).

My Soul is the boringest car EVER.
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#17 Jul 26 2012 at 10:14 AM Rating: Good
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someproteinguy wrote:
Anecdotally (Is that a word?)


Yes.
#18 Jul 26 2012 at 10:15 AM Rating: Excellent
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Raise your hand if you drive or have driven a manual then drove a friends automatic and brought it to a screeching halt out of muscle memory.
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#19 Jul 26 2012 at 10:16 AM Rating: Excellent
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Jimpadan wrote:
Raise your hand if you drive or have driven a manual then drove a friends automatic and brought it to a screeching halt out of muscle memory.
No, but I do constantly reach for the stick shift that isn't there.
#20 Jul 26 2012 at 10:19 AM Rating: Excellent
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AshOnMyTomatoes wrote:
Jimpadan wrote:
Raise your hand if you drive or have driven a manual then drove a friends automatic and brought it to a screeching halt out of muscle memory.
No, but I do constantly reach for the stick shift that isn't there.

I freaked out in driver's Ed. The first time I had ever driven an automatic. I put it in "R" and the car started moving WTF! Smiley: confused
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#21 Jul 26 2012 at 10:28 AM Rating: Good
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Elinda wrote:
someproteinguy wrote:

Also, I miss my old Jeep now... Smiley: cry




Edited, Jul 26th 2012 8:21am by someproteinguy
I miss my little Mazda (zoom zoom zoom).

My Soul is the boringest car EVER.


I really miss my SVT Focus. I miss it so much I'm considering trading into one of the new Focus STs.

Edit: And Jim, I did that once with my sister's car when driving her home after she fractured her ankle. Needless to say she was NOT happy.

Edited, Jul 26th 2012 11:29am by Bigdaddyjug
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#22 Jul 26 2012 at 11:14 AM Rating: Good
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And then when you're on a highway and turn on Cruise Control, the right foot gets to join the left foot in doing nothing.
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#23 Jul 26 2012 at 12:42 PM Rating: Decent
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In an emergency situation your first instinct is to slam the brakes, but if you pay attention you'll notice you actually push with both feet (you might catch yourself but initially you flex both legs, just depends how panicked you are and what your reaction time is like). In two foot operation this is a problem since you could punch the gas and brake at the same time while trying to stop. So cars are designed for 1 foot operation of both gas and brake with the brake pedal being centered and larger than the gas pedal so it's easier to hit. That and carryover from manual operation.

Edited, Jul 26th 2012 2:42pm by Yodabunny
#24 Jul 26 2012 at 1:15 PM Rating: Default
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Yodabunny wrote:
In an emergency situation your first instinct is to slam the brakes, but if you pay attention you'll notice you actually push with both feet (you might catch yourself but initially you flex both legs, just depends how panicked you are and what your reaction time is like).


I've heard many people say this, but I don't believe it's true. Do you push down with both feet whenever you are startled? So what you do with your feet when in an emergency whilst driving a car is learned behavior, not instinct.

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In two foot operation this is a problem since you could punch the gas and brake at the same time while trying to stop.


Extremely unlikely, given that the two foot driver's learned behavior is to push with his left foot while lifting with the right when attempting to slow down or stop. On the other hand, the right foot only driver's learned behavior is to push with the right foot to stop. So if his foot happens to be on the gas instead of the brake (for any of a number of reasons, not the least of which is panic reaction to a sudden event) he'll accelerate instead of stopping. We get dozens of fatalities a year from that. I'm not aware of any case of this sort of thing happening to someone practicing two foot driving. I'm not ruling out the possibility, but it just seems vastly more likely for someone who operates both pedals with the same foot to accidentally hit the wrong pedal, than for someone who operates them with different feet to one day out of the blue forget his right from his left. One of those is reinforced by learned behavior, the other requires acting contrary to it.

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So cars are designed for 1 foot operation of both gas and brake with the brake pedal being centered and larger than the gas pedal so it's easier to hit. That and carryover from manual operation.


/shrug. Most people I've heard from on the issue who drive with two feet started driving on a manual transmission (yes. Like me!) and naturally carried over the use of two feet to driving an automatic. For me, it just made a lot more sense to use that foot that was already used to pushing down on something when stopping to pushing on the brake, thus freeing up my right foot for accelerator-only duty. Far far less complicated IMO.
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#25 Jul 26 2012 at 1:18 PM Rating: Default
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And before someone says it: No. I have absolutely no problems switching back and forth between manual and automatic transmission cars.
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#26 Jul 26 2012 at 2:34 PM Rating: Excellent
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