Left Foot Braking

PP Bear

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I recently taught my disabled friend to drive her automatic car and use her left leg to brake :)

She's a natural at it and it's actually improved her stopping time if that's possible :)

Question is this. Is this actually legal?

Her disability is that she has MS and effects her right leg. She's cleared to drive and does it just fine, but it's been improved by the use of her left leg braking :)

I always do the same when I'm driving an automatic, have for years, but is it actually "illegal" ?

What's my fellow Funsters take on this??

 
Aug 30, 2012
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My niece has a deformed right leg from birth and drives totally with her left leg
On a unmodified car she had lessons with AA and passed her test first time
So I can't see a problem only insurance who I am sure should be notified
 

Techno

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Fine as long as only one pedal is operated at once. I doubt the law is involved at all.

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davejen

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Can't see it being illegal as long as you/she is in control of the vehicle. I only have 1 arm, but DVLA haven't restricted my licence, even though I only drive automatics i could , according to them drive a manual!!!!
Cheers, Dave(y)
 
Dec 12, 2010
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A garage I used to do work for had a Motobility contract, they dreaded this old guy coming in, he was constantly needing discs and pads on his automatic. When he set off from the garage after the work had been done, the mechanic shouted on me to watch him set off. He started the engine, engaged drive and as soon as the car started to move, the brake lights came on, he drove with right foot on the throttle, left foot on the brake ! Mechanic said they were sick of telling him but to no avail :(
 
Dec 6, 2011
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i agree i do it all the time . cant see there is any law that prevents the use of either feet to drive..

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OP
PP Bear

PP Bear

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Thanks Funsters. I agree with you all and appreciate your thoughts and comments :)

I have mentioned the driving with her foot constantly on the brakes as they could bind, build up excessive heat, excessive wear and probably a reduction in her mpg :)
 

sean n maggie

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i have only one leg,,,and drive automatic vehicles even though my licence says no restrictions, it does not matter what foot presses a pedal or what hand pushes a button / lever , if your licence says you can drive that vehicle,,then so be it....
 
Apr 13, 2012
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I always drive automatics 2 footed, left foot 'covers' the brake - saved me a few time in near accidents !(y)(y)

Downside - when I do change back to a manual the left foot hits the clutch not the brake - nearly caused me a few accidents !:oops::oops:

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makems

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I remember Stirling moss telling a story about failing his advanced driving test because he used his left foot to brake just as he did in his F1 car.
But I can't see that it is illegal.
 

Chris

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I can't imagine the policeman asking-

" One last question madam. What foot were you using to operate the pedals before the accident?"

I think she should carry on with what suits her best.

I hadn't thought about driving my wife's automatic with both feet. I don't see why not though, it's the way you drive automatic go -karts.

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OP
PP Bear

PP Bear

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Thanks Funsters, as ever, you're all awesome :roflmto::clap::hi:
 

DBK

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Left foot braking has a lot going for it, not least safety. It is quite common for a driver to stuff their car through a shop window or flatten a wall - or worse - because they pressed the accelerator instead of the brake when using just their right foot. This usually happens when manoeuvring at slow speed and with older drivers who have perhaps always driven manual cars then change, late in life, to an automatic. Typical response from the driver is "I was pressing the brake but the car just kept going faster". http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/driving-automatics-safely/
 
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I used to be a driving instructor and taught automatic as well as manual, including a number of disabled customers either in my car or in their own specially adapted ones.

Left foot braking is frowned upon by the DVSA and an ablebodied driver using their left foot to brake in a standard automatic would not pass the L test. They consider it dangerous for the reason Burstner cites "Downside - when I do change back to a manual the left foot hits the clutch not the brake - nearly caused me a few accidents !:oops::oops:"

On the other hand, there is no Law against it - and there is leeway when disabled drivers are involved. If a driver feels safer and more comfortable doing it that way then do it! The important thing is to be in full control of the car at all times, so as long as that is the case there is no problem.

One customer I had drove a specially adapted car and all the controls were on a joystick operated by one hand - faster, slower, steer right, steer left, indicators. I had a go in it and nearly ran us into a fence because I pushed the darn thing the wrong way. :(

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Nov 5, 2011
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Different BUT we have a LHD automatic & that has been a godsend 'cos I broke my left leg & can easily drive with right foot doing all the work. Easy!
Roger
 

Tootles

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Legality dosent come into it. You can drive a Ford Model 'T' on your licence, and the pedals on that are left for gear changing, centre for reverse, right for brake! Throttle is a hand control. :)
 
OP
PP Bear

PP Bear

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Legality dosent come into it. You can drive a Ford Model 'T' on your licence, and the pedals on that are left for gear changing, centre for reverse, right for brake! Throttle is a hand control. :)
Oh wow, I didn't realise you were THAT old Tootles, old yes, but not ancient :rofl::rofl:;)(y)

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