Which Pedal is the Brake in an Automatic Car?

A lot of people get confused about which pedal is the brake in an automatic car. We're here to clear things up and help you stay safe on the road.

Accelerator Brake Pedals

As a new driver or someone that is just getting into a vehicle with an automatic transmission, you might be confused about how the pedals work. Which pedal is the brake in an automatic car and how is it used?

In your automatic vehicle, you’ll notice two pedals. The accelerator is on the right and the brake is on the left. It’s always this design whether you are driving in America or overseas where cars are situated on the other side. 

In this guide, we will look at how to use the brake pedal in an automatic transmission car. We also discuss driving with both feet and talk about the possibility of a third pedal.

What Foot Do You Use to Brake in an Automatic?

The right way to drive an automatic car is to use your right foot. This foot will be used to accelerate or brake at different times. 

You should never need to accelerate and brake at the same time, leaving your foot free to do what it needs to. However, some people rely on using both feet. 

RELATED: What Does D3 Gear Mean in Automatic Cars?

Can You Use Both Feet with an Automatic Car?

If you drive a manual transmission car, the left foot is used to operate the clutch. Without a clutch in an automatic vehicle, there’s no reason to use your left foot anymore. If you are driving normally, you will use your right foot to accelerate and brake at different times. 

If you choose any way to use your left foot for braking and your right foot for accelerating, you could accidentally step on both pedals at the same time. This issue could cause you to lose control over the vehicle and possibly cause an accident. 

You also don’t want to use your left foot in an automatic car because it teaches you bad habits. If you ever decide to drive a manual transmission vehicle, you will have much more trouble making the transition between the two. 

Do Automatic Cars Have 3 Pedals?

If you are driving an automatic car, you might see something that appears to be a third pedal. However, under closer examination, you find that the pedal doesn’t do anything.

Instead, this is known as a dead pedal. It’s to look like a functioning part but is only designed to create a footrest for your left foot while you are driving. If you put your foot there, you might be more comfortable, especially during a longer trip. 

Do I Need to Push the Brake Pedal to Start an Automatic Car?

If you have a special proximity key or push-button start, you might be required to push the brake pedal to get the engine started. Otherwise, it’s not necessary to push the brake to crank the engine.

Still, it might be a good idea to press it, just for peace of mind. However, most cars today contain a shift lock that only allows the vehicle to start while in Neutral or Park, so you shouldn’t need to worry about rolling away unexpectedly. 

RELATED: 10 Car Driving Tips For Beginners (Driving License Tips)