Because of physical limitations, I have to drive with my left foot. Been doing it all my driving life, but the issue is I need a flat front floor (no console) in order to put my other foot somewhere! So it’s been minvans forever, and I’d like to get something smaller next time. Any options I’m not aware of?
Only other option I know of is some full-size pickup trucks. Hopefully posting here will help. I think members of this forum own about every vehicle made (except for the exotics).
My 1999 Honda CRV has a flat front floor. Don’t know about the newer models.
Have you talked to the companies that adapt cars for the disabled? It seems like there must be some way to shift the pedals to the left. Maybe a hand-operated accelerator would help as well.
A family friend lost her right leg about 30 years ago. She has her car’s accelerator modified to put the pedal to the left of the brake pedal. Any shop that does handicap mods for cars should do it. Web search for “left foot accelerator” and lots of stuff pops up. Here is a portable example:
I know this may sound silly, and I don’t want to ask personal questions about your physical limitation, but why can’t you just stick your right foot under your left leg pressed against the front of the seat? I know this would be a tight squeeze in small cars, but in a large sedan, there is more room for this kind of posture.
I like @lion9car and @jtsanders 's idea the best. Then, you will not be limited to the car you buy and can buy anything you want in general. It would be too bad to buy a truck or an SUV if you absolutely didn’t want one otherwise. That does not discount that you can find a car that will suit your needs, but you how have no restrictions.
Hand operated controls for your throttle and brakes are another option. I’ve seen what these devices look like, and they’re similar to motorcycle controls. If you had one of these things installed on a car with an automatic transmission, you could have just about any car you could want and afford.
I t really all depends on where you travel most but in the rural areas I live in I can drive the car with the cruise nearly all the time until I have to brake. Many aren’t comfortable using cruise control to accelerate and slow down except on divided highways but I literally drive that way all the time when conditions permit no matter where, often without using the gas pedal most of the time. I am a left footed " braker" so it does seem natural to do. The newer car downshifts to maintain speed so they are more flexible then ever. . Just a thought for a temporary solution. It drives my wife crazy so I may have an ulterior motive.
Whitey, try driving for three or four hours with your right leg tucked under your left leg, pressed against a center console, and you’d have your answer. The issue isn’t driving with my left foot, or the arrangement of the pedals, it’s where to put my leg in a skewed position; you have to sit at an angle to do it properly, which makes the typical car “hump” a major obstacle. And moving the pedals over or having hand controls makes the car useless for the rest of the family. I guess minivan it remains!
hang on, if you just moved the gas pedal(the easiest to move) the others in the family may be able to adjust easily
heck, just go test drive every thing that they will let you, or look for a classic car. older cars have lots of leg room
Many cars used for driver training have second pedal sets installed on the passenger side-- often only brake, sometimes both accelerator and brake.
With many cars today using electronic throttle, there is no mechanical connection from the accelerator to anything. It may be possible to have a second pedal installed for your comfort, but leave the original in place. It may even be possible to have a switch to control which is in use, disabling the one not in use for safety.
This would open the option of pretty much any vehicle that has electronic accelerator.
I’ve seen a car with hand controls installed. The kit was installed in addition to the gas and brake pedals, which were kept in place, so those not acquainted with the hand controls were still able to drive the car.
I think if you investigate hand control kits, you’ll find this will open up your selection to pretty much any vehicle.
…but if you’d rather keep driving minivans than investigate other options, who am I to judge?
Lastly, I’m not sure why you think adding hand controls will make it impossible for other people to drive the car. The cars I’ve seen with hand controls were not limited by the additional hand controls. The pedals were still completely functional, and the hand controls were installed in a location that didn’t interfere with normal driving.
I am going to assume though, just to back up @Whitey’s advice, that added controls might easily be “flipped up” or moved out of the way by other drivers. A minor inconvenience for other drivers. I would never install something like that in your situation that could not be.
JHAYES - You ask for help from complete strangers and then jump on Whitey who was trying to be polite and help. You did not give your needs in a vehicle as to price, how many people would normally would be in it or commuting distance. All vehicles web sites will let you see 360 degree views in and out of their vehicles. You can use the web and make a short list of vehicles to look at. I also think that a handicap service can give you better guidance.
This is clearly a case of someone who is set in his thinking. Nothing is going to convince him there are other options available. His limited thinking is going to limit him to minivans, so there is nothing else we can do to help.
+1 to Whitey’s suggestion.
Companies that modify cars for use by the handicapped are more numerous–and more skilled-- than they were even a few years ago. If the OP bothers to explore options with some of these aftermarket conversion companies, he might be amazed at the types of adaptations that exist nowadays, and how they still allow others to drive the modified vehicle.
The first cars with adaptations for the handicapped were the 1946 Oldsmobile models that were dubbed the “Valiant” models–for WW II veterans who suffered amputated limbs. Although those adaptations might seem primitive today, they were ingenious for the time, and yet…they could still be driven by people other than the amputee for whom they were designed.
A visit to the showroom of one of these companies would probably be very revealing to the OP.
There is a simple attachment device for modifying car pedal controls for left foot use. My aunt had it in her car. It is still possible for other drivers to use the gas with the right foot but the main pedal for gas becomes left foot side of the foot well. It is essentially a lateral pedal extender. The brake pedal remains as is, in the middle. I’ve driven the car and it is easy for other drivers to use the normal right foot control of pedals but she could use her left foot. That was easily available 35 years ago so still should be available today.
@Whitey 's right, @JHayesOrlando. Hand controls is the best answer. Others can drive the car just fine with them installed, either by using the hand controls or the original pedals. The controls don’t block or replace the pedals.