Matters of Custom and Convenience

Brake and Gas Pedal

I have to confess to a dirty little secret. Here it is: when I’m driving something with an automatic shift, I use my left foot to brake. Right foot goes on the gas pedal, of course. I think my dad taught me this way. My brother does the same thing. I don’t remember how my mom drove.

Of course, with a manual shift, I use my left foot for the clutch. So, with an automatic, it’s free for braking duties. The Car Talk guys allowed one time that left-foot braking allows the driver to brake more quickly, as long as said driver does not ride the brake. I don’t and never have.

Recently, though, I’ve wondered how hard it would be to switch the foot I brake with. So, I’ve been trying and it really feels strange. Of course, I’m working with a fifty-year-old habit here, so I’ll just have to see. I’ll let you know how it goes. Stay tuned!

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