I don't know what you consider a long period. I hold my foot in the
air for anywhere from perhaps a few seconds to half a minute. It
moves back and forth between resting next to the pedal and hovering
over the pedal when I want to be ready for braking. It's all just
second nature. If traffic is slowing up ahead my left foot will
shadow the brake without my right foot moving at all and I just
maintain speed. I can easily cut a half second of reaction time if
something happens, which translates to 44 extra feet to stop in at 60
mph and in the process I don't have to jerk the passengers back and
forth taking my right foot off the gas to be ready. If I'm just
cruising on the open road it's just resting on the floor of course.
I agree with Harry. You can't keep a foot hoovering in the air ready
to react at a moments notice. And even then, the tiny fraction of a
second compared to just using your right foot is unlikely to make any
material difference in the outcome. And now we have Ashton joining
the original left foot braker in claiming that "covering" the brake
pedal is a good idea. The example of using it when traffic ahead is
slowing is particularly dumb. Here's my solution.. If traffic up
ahead is slowing and the seperation is becoming too small for the
speed, I move my right foot from the gas pedal and start applying the
brakes to increase the distance, instead of relying on "covering" to
shave a 1/10 of a second off my reaction time.
One thing is for sure, they will fail you during a driving test in NJ
if you use left foot braking.
On Thu, 18 Mar 2010 08:22:41 -0700 (PDT), firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
No one said they did 100% of the time.
And even then, the tiny fraction of a
Simply not true. In heavy traffic I can easily gain about a 50 foot
advantage over a right foot braker all other things being equal.
And now we have Ashton joining
Because it is a good idea if you know how to do it properly. It's
clear from the RFBer comments that you people haven't got the foggiest
idea how to properly left FB. That's not a criticism, it's just a
skill you never learned. I've mastered driving both manual and
automatic transmission vehicles and braking with both my right and
left feet. It does not present a problem for ME. You seem to believe
that you are not capable of mastering it and if that's the case I
would encourage you to continue to use your right foot, I would not
want to be responsible for you having an accident when you got
confused as to which foot to use to press on the huge number of pedals
in your car.
The example of using it when traffic ahead is
Yes, god forbid someone drive in a defensive manner that gains them 50
extra feet of stopping distance compared to your technique.
Here's my solution.. If traffic up
And I encourage you to continue to drive within whatever limited skill
set you have.
I'm glad to hear that you hold the opinions of low paid civil servants
with zero special training in driving in such high regard.
And how would you know that besides just throwing out some number as
BS? Prove it.
LOL Let me get this right. A situation arises while driving where
you are getting too close to other cars in traffic. My solution and
that of any safe driver is to take my foot of the throttle and start
braking to slow down and increase the seperation distance. Your
solution is to keep your right foot on the throttle, hoover your left
foot over the brake and continue on your way. I'd say it's obvious
to everyone here that you are the one with the limited skills and are
an unsafe driver.
More BS presented as fact. How do you know what the training and
credentials are of the people that wrote the state driving manuals,
written tests, and administer the in car driving tests?
I've asked you for a reference to any credible source of information
that says left foot braking and using two feet on an automatic is even
acceptable, let alone a superior method. Should be easy, if the
facts are as you claim. Link please.
Well, I said I was done with this topic and it has motored on without me. But I
think I'll jump back in one more time.
A Google search on "left foot braking reaction times" without the quotes turns
up quite a bit of stuff. Much of it mirrors the controversy here. There are
many, many threads and forums that deteriorate the way this one has. You've got
your LFB folks saying "it reduces reaction time" and your RFB folks saying you
LFB folks are crazy, stupid, or reckless. Pick at least one.
Here is a 2006 LA Times article which basically wishy washes the issue:
It says that "the time it takes to move the right foot from the accelerator to
the brake is about 0.2 second". That is about a car length advantage at 60 mph
if the LFB driver is covering the pedal. So it is not nearly 50 feet and is
only there if the LFB driver is covering the pedal.
It also says that "General Motors human factors engineer Brian Kulie said the
company lays out its pedals so that either the left or right foot can be used
for braking, but the design is optimized for one-footed operation"
and that the NHTSA says ""It is an aspect of driver behavior we have never
evaluated." and "In California, the Department of Motor Vehicles, which decides
who gets licensed, also has no opinion on the matter. "
Actually, Google has failed to turn up any official reference to this as a
failure point. The strongest I've found is a NJ driver's guide that says you
"should" brake with the right foot. I would think it would say "must" if it was
a failure point.
Click and Clack are divided on the issue:
Tom says it is OK for older drivers, Ray says no. I'm starting to qualify as an
older driver, but I'm not sure why it is limited to them.
Here is a link to a 1968 Popular Mechanics article where Dan Gurney says LFB is
the preferred method.
It is worth looking just for the blast from the past. A few pages up from the
link is an article saying that Detroit automakers are asking for sanctions
against Toyota and Nissan because they are importing 100,000 cars a year.
Here's a wild YouTube video showing a rally driver left foot braking:
No, I'm not claiming that applies to street driving. It's just kind of fun.
LFB also common on the race track. That's why it was taught to me in my
emergency vehicle street driving course. Some race track handling techniques do
I kicked over this ant hill and am truly surprised by the amount of venom it
attracted. I'd appreciate it if any replies to this post avoid the venom. I
don't expect anyone to get converted.
It looks to me that LFB was a fad in the mid-60's and has faded away since.
**IF** the driver is "covering the pedal".
in an -emergency-,they probably will not be covering the pedal.
LFB is the primary cause of riding the brakes.
If a driver has their braking foot on the gas pedal,it cannot be riding the
I often see cars where the brake lights flick on and off when I know the
driver isn't braking. They are LFBers. They are a hazard.
One important thing here;
IMO,the majority of LFB drivers are NOT trained drivers,they're just poorly
trained drivers. The good ones are the exception and not the rule.
Thus it's a bad practice.
No offense meant.
Besides,doesn't it make sense to drive the same manner no matter what type
of car you're driving? Consistency.
Funny but I NEVER see brake lights flickering like that. Probably not
once in a year. I think you are making it up.
Your sentence starting with IMO makes zero sense. Since you are making
up the nonsense about all the flickering brake lights and we know from
actual experience that there is no actual problem with people riding
their brakes there therefore is no problem with people, poorly
trained or otherwise, using their left foot.
How nice of you to call everyone who holds an opinion different then
yours stupid and then claim you mean no offense. You are quite
offensive. No offense meant.
Really? So having some cars with 3 speed manuals, some with 4 speeds,
some with 5 speeds, some with 6 speeds and many with different shift
patterns for first and reverse must be a HUGE problem since it's NOT
consistent from car to car and surely that's going to create major
confusion for drivers. And gosh, what about the inconsistency of some
cars having the shifter on the steering column and some on teh
console. How will the world ever survive with all the inconsistency
drivers have to contend with. My my, I'm feeling faint, get the
smelling salts, I having the vapors it's all just too too much.
I see it fairly often. Or worse, a car accelerating away from a light with the
brake lights on. My wife hears me mutter "It's a brake pedal, not a foot rest."
or "How many miles do you get to the set of pads?". It is even mentioned in the
previously cited Car Talk article:
So be nice. He's not making it up.
Ah,because Ashton doesn't see it,it must not happen....
I don't need to "make up" stuff. I just mention what I observe.
that's how I base my opinions,on 40 years of observed behavior.
I can't help it if other people are not observant,or have memory problems.
Thanks for falling into my trap. In the same way, just because YOU
can't successfully LFB you think it can't be done, must not happen.
See how that works.
Of course he's not. I purposely baited you antiLFBers to show you how
silly you are when you claim ANYONE who LFBs is some dangerous driver.
The worst that can be said is that there aer some people who LFB who
aren't very good at it. Same can be said about RFB, I'm sure plenty
of them have lots of accidents that could have been avoided had they
learned to LFB.
There are lots of kinds of emergencies. Some are the sudden "Oh, my god" type.
Yes, they most likely won't be covering the pedal. There is the "This could get
ugly" type and they might.
The flip side is what I tell teenagers when they say they are safer drivers
because they've got better reaction times. "If you need reaction time to save
yourself, you screwed up some time earlier".
I suspect, but can't verify, that LFB reduces the incidence of unintended
acceleration due to driver error. So you pays your money and takes your
I doubt there is any correlation between training and LFB/RFB. Obviously from
this discussion, some of the best trained drivers LFB. But the simple fact is
nearly all drivers are poorly trained, especially when it comes to car handling.
As folks have mentioned, it is easy to use your feet differently in different
contexts. You don't get confused about driving vs. walking vs. flying an
airplane or riding a motorcycle. I've always been mildly surprised that there
is enough difference in context between driving a stick vs. an automatic that I
*never* get confused. I mean never in 40 years of going back and forth. YMMV.
I've found the discussion interesting. At least the civil parts of it. I've
learned that the reaction time benefits are less than I've thought. I've
decided that if I were running a driving school for new drivers, I'd teach RFB.
I've also decided that I am going to continue to LFB my automatics. So if you
see a brown '95 Ford Explorer in Dallas, watch out.
On Fri, 19 Mar 2010 18:04:45 -0500, Douglas Johnson
You will notice Colin is driving a front wheel drive standard
transmission car on a "closed course". What he is doing is locking the
rear wheels to induce oversteer ("hang out the tail") while burning
the power through the front brakes. It's got NOTHING to do with
stopping, believe me. It is a VERY effective way of tossing a
lightweight front drive vehicle through corners on loose surfaces at
Also very effective at wearing out expensive competition braking
material - a set of pads is good for MABEE two rallyes - generally
they are replaced between events in performance rallying.
It can be usefull in "evasive action" - doing things that under normal
conditions would net you a citation or two - - - -.
On Fri, 19 Mar 2010 18:04:45 -0500, Douglas Johnson
These thread are always the same. They go like this.
1 - Someone will post a comment about something and mention in passing
that they LFB and make no other claim or say whether it's good or bad.
2 - someone else will feel compelled to say that the first poster is
incredibly stupid for using their left foot and are endangering
everyone else on the road blah blah blah.
3 - the original poster or someone else will say that there is not a
thing wrong with LFB and present reasons why they feel it's as good or
2 - the anti-LFB faction will come unglued and start attacking the
people who choose to LFB.
It's as predictable as the rising sun.
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