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Left foot braking in cars

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Left foot braking in cars

Old 7th Jun 2019, 16:03
  #21 (permalink)  

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but it does seem that those who don't left foot brake disparage those who do.
Well, I for one, don't.

Any more than I disparage all BMW drivers for never using indicators. Some do know how.

Mercedes and Audi drivers, maybe not .... but they don't bother using rear view mirrors, or look before changing lanes, either.
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Old 7th Jun 2019, 16:10
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Don't know if it's still that way, but I remember track cars had the gas pedal in the center with the brake pedal on the left.

I confess to the very occasional bout of pedal confusion, that seems to have ceased when I went back to a manual.
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Old 7th Jun 2019, 16:28
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I have driven a lot of both manual and auto vehicles and a lot in both driver left and driver right countries.

I know left foot breaking is not smiled on in Uk and I believe much of Europe but knew several drives in USA who did left foot brake , it is quicker no doubt but can you use the same force and can you do it inadvertently were always in the back of my mind when I tried it for myself over some extended periods . As for the elderly hitting the accelerator by mistake , my first brand new car was written off after two weeks by an old lady doing that in a car park soI am a bit biased. I think if you brake left from an early age especially ina car with relatively widely separated pedals and auto of course its probably fine but for swapping sides and transmissions its a no no
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Old 7th Jun 2019, 17:13
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Rivets - you say 'the IAM guy will not sanction left foot braking. "we'll soon get you out of bad habits"'. That's a dogmatic response and I'd be sorely tempted to say something.*

I personally don't LFB - I have tried it a little, didn't get on with it hugely, but I've found that as long as I plan properly, I have no need. Other people though, who do, tell me you can balance the transition between braking and accelerating much more finely.

* I tutor for my local RoADAR group, and as long as the outcome is a safe, smooth and progressive drive the way it's done is sort of secondary.
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Old 7th Jun 2019, 17:41
  #25 (permalink)  
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I was very fond of my maternal great grandmother. She lived near Philadelphia in a nice house in a pleasant town. She always drove a black Cadillac, sometimes taking the chauffeur in the back so that he could drive her home after libidinous dinner parties. Believe you me, that was pretty socially ahead of her times in the 1950s. Anyway, she always toted a Colt .45, which perhaps explains why that's one of my favourite hand guns. She kept it in a holster which she wore strapped to her right thigh. She certainly used her left foot for braking and I can assure you that when her foot went to sleep on the accelerator, the results could be quite horrifyingly dramatic.
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Old 7th Jun 2019, 17:59
  #26 (permalink)  
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Yeh, these folk are volunteers and the first one I spoke to a year ago said, Yes, reversing with mirrors is okay. Good, says this stiff old bloke housing my young mind. But then I asked about left foot braking. You'd have thought I wanted to bonk his daughter. The spuffle noise reached Walton from Colchster shortly after it came down the phoneline.

Oh, Bloody Nora. I went to Colchseter and drove around for a while trying to do it 'properly'. Oh, my...off to the hospital to have my legs un-twergald. Not a chance. I later drove the woman-formally-known-as-my-wife's car. Stick shift, no problem, right foot brake just felt (groan) right.

I tested a 5M 560hp with twin clutch. We went to a quiet place and I stepped into the hot-seat. He noticed right away I was left foot on the brake. Before he could fuss, I pulled both paddles back to get manual, and really let the beastie loose. It was without doubt, the best car I'd ever driven. However, I then tried a Honda Type R. nifty computer controlled revs so you don't have to get them right for changes, but manual it was. Right foot braking. Never gave it a single thought until now. That is a hot car but I could feel the front wheel drive and just can't stand that.

Any road up, my first attempt to control my Olds 88 with Hydromatic was okay, but with the 4 barrel choke in, it was uncontrollable at first. That car, left over here by some American, caused me to left foot brake.. ~1960

Yes, my B-I-L in Texas did complain about my brake-lights flashing so I work hard not to annoy folk behind, but I'll tell you what, wiping rainy, greasy discs ahead of time is one of the biggest safety factors IMHO. They then don't grab but give normal smoothness. Time, microseconds? Nope, at a motor show sim I was consistently .25 seconds to brakes on from stimulus. About half Mr Average's response times. Most enthusiasts however would be quicker than that.

Funnily, the one time that I really needed to brake like hell for a classic emergency stop wast in my Accord with manual shift. Probably a little under 30 mph when I saw the child's little fingers pull out of her mother's hand. She was exactly in front of the car as the ABS valve was howling to a crescendo. I shouted at my 93 yo mum BRACE BRACE as the kid behind rear-ended us. My mom had already stomped on an imaginary brake. How cool is that? After the shunt my car was just touching the child's dress - her little silver curls showing just above the Honda's low bonnet. I took the child back to her mother who was in the midst of a mini-crowd and then committed a mistake that made me take away all my Brownie points. The woman had a thousand yard stare, and I didn't respond to her medical needs. Hard to get full points sometimes. Oh, and while I was slowing down, I recall thinking that if I don't take some pressure off the pedal, I'll break it. It was bending.

Trying to convey all this enthusiasm into machinery is an impossible task at ~80 yo. Bolloks to old age. I live in fear of making a mistake and concentrate like hell. Seeing some of our celebrities looking away from the road and into camera drives me crazy. Is it just oldness that makes me vigilant, should they be looking where they're going?

Sheesh, I've turned into a BOF.
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Old 7th Jun 2019, 18:29
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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I learnt to left-foot brake in a Porsche 928 S4 because it had a problem with the idle control valve (until I got it fixed), so it kept cutting out unless I could keep the revs at 800, which required the left foot for slowing down coming to traffic lights etc. It was difficult at first not to operate it like a clutch pedal, which tended to produce overly abrupt halts, but in a surprisingly short time it was possible to make more graceful progress.

I now find it useful in any auto at startup (especially an unfamiliar car) - left foot fully on the brake - and occasionally for low speed manoeuvring in tight places, just to be sure nothing moves until I want it to. Normal traffic, no, it's right-foot braking. Even there I often find my right foot off the throttle and hovering over the brake in anticipation, even if it's not called into play.

Coming from 25 years with manuals, followed by 10 years of mixed auto / manual and now 2 years of auto only, I don't quite get what the problem is with braking an auto - the accelerator and brake are still in the same relative positions as a manual, and the right foot just keeps doing what it always does, hopping between the 2 as required. The brake pedal also tends to be larger in an auto because of the lack of clutch pedal, making it even harder to miss.
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Old 7th Jun 2019, 18:40
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Loose rivets View Post
Yeh, these folk are volunteers and the first one I spoke to a year ago said, Yes, reversing with mirrors is okay. Good, says this stiff old bloke housing my young mind. But then I asked about left foot braking. You'd have thought I wanted to bonk his daughter.
Isn't it a bit like flying instructors / examiners? There's them as'll give you a bollocking for not doing everything exactly their preferred way, and them as'll accept anything that works and is safe.
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Old 7th Jun 2019, 20:04
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Loose rivets View Post
Not for the first time I'm asking if folk among our members use left foot braking on automatic transmission cars?

The reason I ask this time is that the IAM guy will not sanction left foot braking. "we'll soon get you out of bad habits"
Yes, always in an automatic. Very occasionaly in a manual change....
.... prefer to use the handbrake.

A friend who is not interested in driving except to get from place to place and has to call the AA (or whoever) to change a punctured tyre does it too when driving her automatic. She's an academic and said "It seemed obvious." when asked about it.

The IAM don't like my braking & changing gear at the same time either. Nor the heel-&-toe. Least upsetting method to the car's balance I reckon.

'a

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Old 7th Jun 2019, 20:07
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Just to be clear - it's not left foot braking per se that's my niggle but the drivers who seem unaware that they are flashing their stop lights randomly when their left foot touches the pedal, causing me to brake, and a ripple to pass down the 20 cars following them.
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Old 7th Jun 2019, 21:54
  #31 (permalink)  
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Yes, as mentioned, I am aware but I'll go out into the fray tomorrow with a new vigilance. However, I'm mindful that I cover the brakes most of the time while in built up areas. Nothing can make my foot relax on the rest. B roads, every junction I'm over the brakes if there's the slightest hint of movement or even a car waiting to pull out. If their wheels move 5 degrees, my brakes will be slightly one. Sorry folks behind.

It did cause me some grief. From rumbling old Caddies to my evil E500 Sport, I'd cover the brakes a lot and be tight on them while slow manoeuvring. Fine. Then I came home and bought a little BMW 318 Ti. Nice gearbox, though rather slow. Anyway, I started a forum about WTF was going wrong? Pulling onto roundabouts etc., I used to be fairly 'progressive' but after several times of my car's fuel flow quitting at the worst moment, I had to go into BOF mode and be very careful. I even blamed the overhead wires going into Frinton. Could the EMF be affecting the computer? It went on for ages, and one night, lying in bed, I thought - No, can't be, can it? I ceased to have engine against brakes and from that moment it hasn't done it. Even my Twin Turbo would let me get some torque on before coming off the brakes. It really does improve the launch speeds. I was astonished how much I must have done this over the years. People in front would have not been surprised at the lights on while stopped, but still on as I warped away? Must look odd.

The only time I've worried about brake wear was with that @$^@$!#% Mercedes. The brakes were FBW and very, very powerful, but disc wear was quite significant, and non of yer popping down to O'Riely's Parts for $18 discs. In 12,000 miles I'd got a ridge you could hook your fingernail on.

That's another thing. My Suzuki EFE ate pads. Heron Suzuki told me I was in the big league now and that's what they did. Now I was covering the brakes with my fingers, apparently a no-no with the riding instructors cos you need to grip the bars manfully. The time taken to un-grip bars after an hour of hard riding was deadly. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to be told daft things by all these sensible people.
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Old 8th Jun 2019, 13:07
  #32 (permalink)  
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left foot fully on the brake - and occasionally for low speed manoeuvring in tight places, just to be sure nothing moves until I want it to
Well, you've got the handbrake for that

So nobody thinks the 'extra' brakelight illuminations are from Adaptive Cruise then?
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Old 8th Jun 2019, 13:40
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Sometimes when going in the wrong direction rather enthusiastically using my brainless slush box in R, I find right foot braking just isn't enough, so I apply my left foot onto the brake pedal as well and push as hard as I can, which is then usually followed by closing ones eyes and waiting for the inevitable thump while concentrating on trying to stop the damn thing's trajectory. So far this braking technique seems to work.
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Old 8th Jun 2019, 13:58
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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I switch between the 2 on both autos and manuals, although I'd say I generally only use the left foot on manuals when doing heel n toe braking (ie when on a drive purely for the pleasure of it). I know lots of people think heel n toe is crazy but I'd say no more so than left foot braking. It's bloody satisfying too with a good gearbox setup.
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Old 8th Jun 2019, 14:56
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I know lots of people think heel n toe is crazy
I'd say so too if one wore clogs.

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Old 8th Jun 2019, 16:17
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! View Post
So nobody thinks the 'extra' brakelight illuminations are from Adaptive Cruise then?
Certainly not the ones going uphill.
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Old 8th Jun 2019, 16:55
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I mentioned this before in another thread, but you can have another laugh at my expense:-
Hired a CVT Mini years ago, which took ages to wind up after each throttle lift for corners, so tried left foot braking whilst keeping the throttle to the floor. It worked a treat for the first two corners, then I ran out of (vacuum) brake servo. Oops!
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Old 8th Jun 2019, 21:49
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Originally Posted by YorkshireTyke View Post
Motor cycle "sides". i believe this depends upon which country designed the motor bike, a left hand drive one or a right hand drive one, to account for which way the bike rider leans when stopped at traffic lights and needs a foot handy to select gear when the lights change ? The only difference being that Japan, a drive on the left side of the road country, went for the American market after W.W.II ? Maybe ?
found this explanation which seems "interesting" to me...:

In the late ’60s it was likely a new rider would start riding on a small Japanese bike with left side shifting. The biggest left side shifting Japanese bike was the 450 Honda, riders likely moved up to an English bike all of which shifted on the right as did many Italian bikes. Of course the rear brake pedal was also reversed too.

Enough riders crashed and claimed control confusion moving on to the new, larger bike! So the American govt stepped in and mandated standard controls, that also meant pulling the shift lever up to get a higher gear, and down for a lower gear- that was also never standardized either. For comparison, there is still no standard gearshift pattern for autos!- but the foot brake position is standard so confusion may damage the shifting but not cause a crash-

The British bike industry was already in deep trouble, only 3 models were converted, the Norton Commando and the Triumph Trident and Bonneville. All the other Brit bikes were dropped from production, at least in part to avoid the cost of conversion.

The Italian bikes suffered along with some very problematic conversions using external levers and cables- Ducati and Moto Morini shifting went to hell!

We also got mandated neutral light indicators and right side of the handle bar kill switches, both in the name of safety.

As for why which side was chosen, I suspect a lot had to do with the incredible number of Japanese bike models already being sold with left side shift; keeping both brake controls on the same side seems logical too.

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Old 9th Jun 2019, 00:59
  #39 (permalink)  
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Sometimes when going in the wrong direction rather enthusiastically using my brainless slush box in R, I find right foot braking just isn't enough, so I apply my left foot onto the brake pedal as well and push as hard as I can, which is then usually followed by closing ones eyes and waiting for the inevitable thump while concentrating on trying to stop the damn thing's trajectory. So far this braking technique seems to work.
Flippin' 'ek! What happened to the cattle?
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Old 9th Jun 2019, 03:24
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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I hated the left side gear change as I felt unbalanced when operating the clutch lever and using my
left foot to change. Same with braking using my right hand and right foot.
IF this is such a good idea re "balance" why do the armed forces etc when marching swing their right
arm and left leg together and of course then their left arm with right leg? IF this American law is so perfect
why don't people march using left arm with their left leg?
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