If you are new to driving or you need a refresher course, you might wonder about the pedal configuration in your car. Why do some cars have two pedals while others have three? Is the gas pedal on the left or right? These are all valuable questions that must be answered.
In this guide, we tell you which each of the pedals is. We also discuss why you shouldn’t drive your car with two feet, no matter how tempting it might be.
Is the Gas Pedal on the Left or Right Side?
No matter what country you are in, the gas pedal is always found on the right-hand side of the driver’s side. This configuration is true whether you drive a left- or right-hand configuration. In every country, the clutch, brake pedal and gas pedal design remain consistent.
Saying that the gas pedal is located on the right side can be confusing, especially if you are driving on the left side of your vehicle. However, we aren’t discussing which side of the car it’s on. Instead, this answer is focused on where among the pedals it sits. In all cars, you have the brake pedal on the left and the gas pedal on the right, in front of the driver. There could also be a clutch further to the left if it has a manual transmission.
However, if you are talking about which side of the vehicle the pedals are on in combination with one another. That depends on where the driver sits. If it’s a left-side driven vehicle, the pedals will also be on the left-hand side, with the gas pedal on the right of the pedals. In comparison, the right-side vehicle has all of the pedals on the right, in front of the driver, with the gas pedal on the right of all of the pedals.
For this reason, no matter which side you drive your car from, you always use the right foot to push on the gas pedal. If you need to stop the vehicle, you take your foot off of the accelerator and place it on the brake pedal instead.
Understanding the 2- or 3-Pedal Design
Your vehicle might have two or three pedals. All vehicles come with at least two pedals, which include the following:
- Gas pedal
- Brake pedal
This is the configuration found with all cars that have an automatic transmission.
If you have a manual transmission vehicle, you also have a clutch pedal found on the left side of the brake pedal. This is used to push down so the gears can be changed.
Besides these two or three designs, you might see a couple of other levers or pedal-type structures all the way to the left of the floor. It’s possible that one of these is to engage or disengage the parking brake. However, it won’t be placed near the other pedals, so there should be no confusion. There could also be a footrest, which is immovable. This footrest gives you a place to put your foot when it’s not in use, allowing you to relax while you drive.
Why is the Gas Pedal Placed Lower than the Brake Pedal?
You might have noticed that the gas pedal sits slightly lower than the brake pedal in your car. What is the purpose of this because it obviously wasn’t a design glitch?
With this design, your foot can’t slip off of the gas pedal and hit the brakes. On top of that, you will spend a lot of time with your foot on the gas pedal. It’s going to rest there far more often than on the brake pedal. This lowered position makes it easier for you to keep control over the throttle. It also provides superior comfort, which is helpful if you are on the road for extended periods.
Should You Drive With Two Feet?
There are no laws making it illegal to drive with both feet. If you want to, there is nothing stopping you. But does this mean that you should use both feet when driving?
We don’t recommend driving this way. It’s been shown to be unsafe, and you don’t need any more factors that play into accidents. You could easily get confused about which pedal to step on. You could also ride the brake while you are accelerating, which isn’t good for the vehicle. This practice will cause you to go through brakes more frequently and will cause confusion with cars behind you because the brake lights will be on.
Instead, you want to stay focused on using your right foot to operate both the gas and brake pedal. Save your left foot to operate the clutch if you drive a manual car or let it rest comfortably with your automatic car.
Is the gas pedal always on the right?
Yes, the gas pedal is always on the right and this configuration is true whether you drive a left- or right-hand driven car. The reason for this is historical: when cars were first designed, most people were right-handed. The driver would therefore naturally use his right foot to operate the gas and the brake pedal. Since most people are still right-handed, this layout has remained unchanged.
Which is the gas pedal and which is the brake?
You will always find the gas pedal to the right of the brake pedal, and you will find the brake pedal to the left of the gas pedal. If you drive a manual car, you will find the clutch pedal to the left of the brake pedal. This applies to all cars on the road, regardless of whether it is left- or right-hand drive
Is the gas pedal on the left in Europe?
No, the gas pedal is always on the right all over the world, regardless of whether the car is left- or right-hand drive.
Why don’t we use the left foot for braking?
The left foot is not used for the brake because older car models had manual transmissions and the left foot was needed to control the clutch pedal. There’s also no need to brake and accelerate at the same time, so by using your right foot for both, there’s no risk of you doing so.