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1987 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class - Two footer states his case

WHY have cars always been set up to have to remove the driver’s right foot from the gas pedal to the brake pedal (none of your stupid jokes here, please)? I drive right foot on gas pedal, left foot on brake pedal…as many others do. BECAUSE it’s safer. I started when driving in the conventional manner my foot-wear occasionally got stuck (hung up) in the change-over causing a dangerous delay (which there always is in the single foot manner. I’ve studied this extensively. I experimented it and found even if a panicked driver jams on both pedals at the same time there is virtually no change in the stopping time and distance. I envisioned that it once the brake pedal is activated it would disarm the gas pedal. I undersatand something similar has been done with busses and racing cars. Any thoughts? I know were not likely to change the present design…but! Your thoughts.

Your 1987 560SL is a very old car, and the R107 came out in 1972 or 1973, I believe. The body style and pedal design were unchanged until production stopped in 1989

If you’re going to complain about pedal design, talk about a brand new car, and then at least it will seem like a legitimate complaint

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Whomever replied to this is completely missing the point.

I know exactly what your point is

Do NOT presume to know what’s in my head

Just because somebody responded in a way you weren’t anticipating doesn’t mean much in and of itself

I stand by what I said earlier . . .

If you want people to take your complaint seriously, don’t reference a vehicle which is over 30 years old and which was designed well over 40 years ago


Not missing point . You are making an argument about something that may only apply to your preference. Using the right foot for accelerator and brake came about because from the start vehicles were manual transmissions. There are already vehicle that will limit how much throttle can be given when the brake pedal in pressed.

And there are people who do use left foot braking but there are also people who could not do that well at all.

Again I say, you completely missed the point. Automobiles have been configured the same since the advent of the automatic transmission. What I’m trying to explain, is, the gas pedal and the brake pedal are intended to be used with the same foot. I ask why aren’t each of those pedals controlled by a separate foot – for instantaneous reaction with less time lost and less chance of a shoe getting caught in the transmission process? Capice?


I say you completely missed MY point

We’re not going to agree on this, in any case


I never found that to be that difficult and people do it all the time . Now if you want to reference the years ago Audi 5000 problem that is also not worth discussing.

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  1. Keep your shoes tied.
  2. I doubt that a two footed driver…who is resting his/her left foot on the floor…can get that foot onto the brake pedal any faster than the driver that gets the right foot off the gas and onto the brake.

The distance is almost the same.

My mother is a two footed driver and claims that it is a carry-over from when she drove cars with a clutch.
But your clutch foot would never be used for the brake. I don’t correct her and don’t make a big deal about.
She is 87 and still a great driver. I’m not messing with changing her ways.

This subject should actually be posted in the Driving/Drivers section. Not in Maintenance and Repairs


I can always tell when there’s a two footed driver in the vehicle in front of me.

The brake lights are always on.



You can learn to be a left foot braker. All Indy racecars and Formula 1 cars are set up to brake left foot. Many racers do left foot brake even with a clutch pedal.

Manufacturers won’t build cars for that because every driver for the last 100 years has learned to drive right foot braking. So basically all drivers alive today learned right foot braking. Some chose to left foot brake. I do on occasion. Goody.

If you want to left foot brake, by all means, left foot brake. Don’t expect car manufacturers to change their cars to suit that. With throttle by wire, some even defeat the throttle if you touch the brake at the same time as the throttle.

But if you rest your left foot on the brake pedal so you are “ready” stop that. Your brake lights are on all the time annoying other drivers and making you less safe.


The main reason not to two-foot imo is b/c you may be inadvertently braking when you aren’t aware you are doing it. One-footing, that’s much less likely. Besides wearing the brakes out faster, this could overheat the brakes and cause them to not stop the car as quickly as they otherwise would in an emergency. But if you are sure you are never braking except when intended, I see little to no harm to this practice. I fail to understand why the model year is a factor myself.


Left foot braking shortens reaction times lets you stop quicker. It can also wear out your brakes quicker.
I don’t do it because all the cars I learned to drive on were manual and every tractor trailer I drove except One that I drove for just 1 day were manual with most being 10 to 16 speed transmissions, some with two shift levers.

Because I have over 3 million miles of right foot braking, my reflexes are pretty firmly set that way.

When I started driving a school bus, they were all automatics and during mandatory training they tried to make us all left foot brakers. I was doing it for a while but I never got comfortable with it and one day when someone ran a stop sign in front of me I almost hit them because both feet went for the brake pedal and knocked each other away.

I told our trainer about that and that I was going back to right foot braking and they left me alone about it because in testing, even though I was older than most of the drivers, I had the fastest gas to brake reaction times.

5 years later the state backed off left foot braking and on the physical performance test they started testing how fast you could press hard on the brake and gas 10 times.

Look guys. I’m not advocating drivers switch to 2 feet driving. I do it because I know it’s safer BUT ONLY IF YOU CAN TRAIN YOURSELF TO DO IT PROPERLY (as in not having the left foot lying on the brake pedal). I’m a life long commercial pilot and use both feet on the rudder pedals…so it comes easier to me. And, as I’ve expressed, there’s less time delay between using each of the car’s pedals and eliminates any hang-ups when switching the one foot. I was just asking why auto pedals haven’t been reconfigured this way which would definitely be safer. When one pedal is activated the other is deactivated. Just curious…that’s all.

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If you’d read my post, I already said this happens on some cars.

My BIL’s new Ram truck has that “feature.” It almost got him killed a few times when the engine refused to respond as he rolled on the throttle while rolling his foot off the brake so both were applied for a short time. He took the truck in under warranty and the service tech came out and asked him if he was a left foot braker. When he said he was, the tech told him it disables the throttle to prevent the “both feet in” run-away vehicle problem. It allowed him to just surge into traffic and then shuts the throttle off. A bit of a painful delay, in my opinion but not Chrysler’s, apparently.

You stated earlier that you “tested” that condition and the braking distance was not compromised. I shall say “bull squat” as my 420 HP V8 will drastically lengthen braking distances if I apply both throttle and brake. And I have 14 inch performance brake rotors all around the car. My car doesn’t close the throttle if both brake and throttle are applied. I’ll call that the “Smokey Burnout Feature”

I have experimented with left foot braking. It is easy and as effective as right foot braking when I am concentrating on left foot braking. In an emergency situation like you described with the school bus I would have the same problem. When a reaction needs to be immediate, muscle memory will kick-in! I have no problems operating A/T vehicles although if I have not driven one for a long period of time I may find my left foot searching for the non existent clutch pedal and right hand reaching for the shifter. During my 10 years and many miles as a commercial driver at least 95% was with A/T vehicles but I never considered left foot braking.

actually its a simple explanation. Like most people favor their right hand to perform a task, the same goes for your feet. Most favor their right foot. A mature driver will reacted quicker moving their right foot from the gas to the brake in the event a sudden stop is required.

The second reason is to avoid accidentally pressing both pedals in the event of an emergency stop.

By the way, it’s not “Capice”, but “capiche”. Capiche?

We’re both wrong: It’s CAPISCE…according to my Webster’s Italian Dictionary.

Your right handed dominance is correct. As a former flight instructor I dealt with the same problem, it was called the ‘heavy right rudder tendency’. However, I don’t agree about when pressing pressing both pedals in the event of an emergency stop. Once the brakes are locked it doesn’t matter how revved up the engine is. at least not with an automatic transmission. I’ve tried it.

Capiche is THE standard English spelling. There are half a dozen other ways to spell it and they are correct as well in the representative cultural area.

I can smoke my rear tires until they explode with my foot hard on the brake and the car not moving. Besides with modern ABS, tires never lock. You do not have the correct information if you are basing your experience on a 30 year old Benz.

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