Tutorial for learner drivers explaining which pedal is the brake in an automatic car

Which Pedal is the Brake in an Automatic Car

In an automatic car, there are two pedals: the brake pedal and accelerator pedal. The brake pedal is on the left and the accelerator is the pedal on the right.

Are the Foot Pedals Always in that Order?

Yes, the brake pedal is always on the left and the accelerator pedal is always on the right regardless of whether it’s a right-hand drive car or left-hand drive car.

What Foot do you Brake with in an Automatic?

You only use one foot to drive an automatic. You use your right foot to brake or accelerate in an automatic car. There should never be a need to brake and accelerate at the same time.

Can You use Both Feet to Drive an Automatic Car?

During normal driving, you should use only your right foot for braking and accelerating. By using the left foot for braking and the right foot for accelerating, there’s the potential to brake and accelerate at the same time which may result in a loss of control.

Another reason is that if you have previously driven a manual car, you will have used your left foot for the clutch and your right foot for braking and accelerating. Because you’re used to driving a manual, you may accidentally press the brake out of habit, thinking it’s the clutch.

You can use both feet if you are stopping and starting in very slow moving traffic or carrying out a manoeuvre such as parking or one of the driving test manoeuvres. Using both feet during a manoeuvre may offer better control and accuracy of your car.

Do You Have to Press the Brake to Start an Automatic Car?

Before starting an automatic car you should check that the gear selector lever is in park and that the parking brake is applied.  It’s considered safe practice to press the brake pedal before starting an automatic car.

The reason being is that if you do not have your foot on the brake when selecting drive on the gear selector lever, the car may lurch forward. Many modern cars now have a safety feature that prevents the engine from being started unless the foot brake is firmly pressed down.

Why do Some Automatic Cars have 3 Pedals?

All automatic cars have just 2 pedals. What might look like a third pedal could be the parking brake if you don’t have a handbrake. Most modern cars now have a electronic parking brake button or a handbrake lever.

A foot rest on the left side called the ‘dead pedal’ often looks like a functioning pedal but simply serves as a place where the driver can comfortably rest their left foot.

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