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Is it legal to drive with your left foot?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Joe G, May 22, 2019.

  1. Joe G

    Joe G NES Member

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    Subject says it all. My son just had surgery on his right ankle and will be non-weight bearing for 6 weeks. A google search about left foot driving was inconclusive. I did find this article which says it's ok but has no cites and no information on the author's credentials. And it's written by someone in WI.

    Is it Legal to Drive with a Cast On Your Right Foot?

    I did a search of this forum and didn't find anything other than a thread on hand controls and Ross installing a left-foot gas pedal. Neither are options I want to pursue. Of course my son says it'll be no problem, and his over-confidence aside, I generally agree. But I thought I'd check in and ask. There's some pretty well-versed people on this forum.

    If it matters, he's in a splint now, until the swelling goes down. He'll be in a cast for 3 weeks, and then a boot for 2 more weeks.

    TIA
     

  2. enbloc

    enbloc NES Life Member NES Member

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    [popcorn]

    ... and, hope your boy heals well!
     
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  3. C. Stockwell

    C. Stockwell

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    By drive I presume you mean "push the accelerator and brakes." Turning the steering wheel with one's left foot would be an impressive feat (no pun intended).

    I don't think its illegal. Say 20 years ago, this would be a no-no because with a standard, the left foot has to push the clutch. Most people can't drive stick anymore and most cars are automatic. From a practicality standpoint, how would the cop know unless the driver hits something or gets hit or gets pulled over and says "sorry officer, I was driving with my left foot, I don't normally do this!" In that case, it might mean something in a civil negligence case, but I don't see any illegality. Edit: get a doctor's note just in case?!?

    Of course I could be totally wrong, so check the Mass CMRs.
     
  4. appraiser

    appraiser NES Member

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    Unless his Doctor said no driving he is fine IMHO, but if the SHTF some lawyer would certainly use it against him in a personal injury case.

    Give him a cut down broomstick for the gas pedal ..... If the Emergency brake is to his right and hand actuated even better
     
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  5. sbi

    sbi NES Member

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    ^ That.

    Can't see how it can be legal or illegal, no one can see how you drive anyway, but if he does I would remind him that his reflexes with left foot accelerator > brake pedal will be significantly slower than normal and he should take this into account (perhaps double the distance he keeps from the car in front of him, drive slower, etc.).
     
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  6. C. Stockwell

    C. Stockwell

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    Just for fun, I looked up if there's any case law or statutes about "driving" and "left foot." Closest in Mass is an unlawful termination case, DePrato v. Mass. Water Res. Auth., 35 Mass. L. Rep. 91 (Suffolk Sup. Ct. 2018). Has nothing to do with being sued for driving with the left foot (unlawful termination) or negligence based on driving with the left foot.
     
  7. new guy

    new guy NES Member

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    Let me know when he's heading out on the road so that I can stay the hell away. [laugh]
     
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  8. Prepper

    Prepper NES Member

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    My mother has been driving for over 50 years with her left foot on the brake, should be fine.
     
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  9. SpaceCritter

    SpaceCritter NES Member

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    My last major injury involved:

    [​IMG]
    It doesn't dawn on you at the time, but when I saw my regular ortho the next day (and yes, I'm injury-prone sufficiently I have a "regular ortho") he walked in the room saying, "You're not going to want to hear this, but..." The first thing was: driving was completely verboten while in the collar. Second thing: he expected me to be in it for eight to twelve weeks. (Fortunately not: it was seven. Still and all...) I've mentioned here before I have a couple of customers/colleagues/friends who are blind twins. When I told them about it and having to rely on others to cart me around, they both chuckled and said, "And now you know what it's like for us!"

    I don't know that having to use an alternate foot will impair driving ability - inability to turn your head certainly will.
     
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  10. greencobra

    greencobra NES Member

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    my sister was a left foot driver all her life. she was left handed, don't know if that was the reason.
     
  11. Uzi2

    Uzi2 NES Member

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    I've done it many times, even without an injured right foot. Couldn't care less if it was "legal" or not.
     
  12. xjma99

    xjma99 NES Member

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    If there’s no law against it, then it’s legal. I know that’s a hard concept to grasp.

    Whether or not it’s a good idea is another thing. Be a good responsible person and don’t get .gov involved in your life or your decisions.

    I broke my right ankle a few years back, it sucked. My daily driver truck is a manual transmission. Once I wasn’t on heavy pain meds, I drove my 2500HD plow truck around to my dr. and PT appointments.
     
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  13. Broccoli Iglesias

    Broccoli Iglesias NES Member

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    I tried using my left foot once, just to see what it was like. I never tried it again. I hit the accelerator and brake way too hard.

    It's amazing how you get used to using one foot and a certain amount of force, and then it's as if you are learning again when you switch foots.

    I would tell your kid to stay home and have his GF take care of the swelling... his ankle swelling.
     
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  14. timbo

    timbo Navy Veteran NES Member

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    tell him to learn to drive like my daughter who works for the USPS as a rural carrier...she sits in the passenger seat and her left foot does all the work. I honestly don't know how she does it for 8+ hours a day.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
  15. Picton

    Picton NES Member

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    This.

    I broke my right ankle once and did a roadtrip from NC to DC and NYC and back through Gettysburg, all left-footed. No harm, no foul, nobody knew. Just tell your boy to fling his right foot up on the passenger seat and enjoy the ride.
     
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  16. Asaltweapon

    Asaltweapon NES Member

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    I use both feet for driving anyway being a left foot braker.
     
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  17. kalash

    kalash

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    Might be tricky if he drives a manual.
     
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  18. M1911

    M1911 Moderator NES Member

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    I strongly suspect that his orthopedist said “no driving until...”

    When my boss broke her right ankle badly, she was told no driving no until she was fitted with a walking boot and could bear weight on that ankle. She got rides to and from work from several people, including me.
     
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  19. Spanz

    Spanz NES Member

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    while your right foot is in a cast, you can not use it for the accelerator...as it does not flex at all. Once it is out of the cast...you can use it again.

    left foot? I would think a young driver, who barely knows how to drive to begin with, would get very confused...especially if some odd situation showed up, and end up flooring it instead of braking. I would just tell him NO!
     
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  20. Eddie17

    Eddie17

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    My sister an I are both left foot brakers. I drive a standard 50% of the time, she cannot.
    Personally I fine being able to brake left footed, driving an automatic helps in heavy traffic. Meaning stop an go
     
  21. tuna

    tuna NES Member

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    Concealed is concealed.
     
  22. xjma99

    xjma99 NES Member

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    Left foot is for clutch only, you’re doing it wrong!!! You must have small feet....
     
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  23. M1911

    M1911 Moderator NES Member

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    There is a difference between left foot braking (which is fine if you practice it) and trying to use your left foot for gas and brake.
     
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  24. Brucewillis4316

    Brucewillis4316 NES Member

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    I have a friend who lost his right leg- knee down and drives all left footed. Kinda scary riding with him...
     
  25. Bmcl322

    Bmcl322 NES Member

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  26. fitzknny

    fitzknny NES Member

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    From the way clowns drive in Boston, I'd say there's a lot of people trying to learn how to drive with broom sticks . . . . and cross stepping
     
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  27. tbk5

    tbk5

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    I don't know if there is any law to worry about. The real potential for harm is a reflex reaction to brake hard with the right foot in an emergency situation. That may cause an injury worse that the original.
     
  28. millbilly

    millbilly NES Member

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    Construed as "impeded operation" ??
     
  29. Asaltweapon

    Asaltweapon NES Member

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    Says who?

    You’ve seen the driving talent out there. Right?
     
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  30. millbilly

    millbilly NES Member

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    Certainly not by me. I was posing it as a question.
     

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