Answer: we cannot find a single law in any state in the United States which prohibits driving with the left foot only.
That being said, a driver could still receive a citation for driving with the left foot only.
In the article that follows, we’ll explain.
Is It Illegal To Drive With The Left Foot Only? (Explained)
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Rules of the Road Generally
Each state has its own traffic laws, and the specifics can vary from state to state.
While driving with the left foot (or even barefoot) may have been worthy of a traffic ticket in the past, most states have moved away from creating endless laws about what can and cannot be done while driving.
Instead, most states have moved to more general laws that mandate that drivers operate their car in a reasonable and safe manner.
For example, in Arizona, the state does not prohibit lane changes in intersections, despite the long held belief that such a movement is illegal.
Instead, the traffic code states:
A vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from such lane until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety.Arizona Revised Statutes
This gives officers the freedom to issue a citation if the movement was unreasonable or unsafe.
Driving With The Left Foot
If there are no laws about driving with the left foot (or even barefoot), then how could a driver get cited for left-footed driving?
Especially when two feet are 100% required to operate a car with a stick-shift (manual transmission)?
If the situation of driving with the left foot was unreasonable or unsafe, or placed property or persons in danger, the driver could get cited.
For example, let’s say that the driver was using the left foot, and managed to mistake one pedal for the other.
If the left foot failed to accurately and adequately operate the pedals, and the resulting driving is erratic or produces a wreck, the driver could get a ticket specifically for the left-footed driving.
However, it’ll probably be called something like “failure to follow the the basic rule” or “careless driving.”
Why Is it Bad To Drive With The Left Foot?
It is not necessarily bad or wrong to drive with the left foot.
It is just a bit unconventional.
When the car is an automatic, it is almost universally taught to new drivers to use only one foot, and that foot is the right foot.
The pedals on a car are generally shaped and placed for the right foot.
Could You Go To Jail For Driving With The Left Foot?
The simple act of driving with the left foot is unlikely to result in jail time.
However, if your behavior rose to the level of a criminal act while driving with the left foot, then yes, you could go to jail.
This is especially the case if you were under the influence of intoxicants, traveling at a high rate of speed, distracted, or street racing.
If you are concerned about criminal charges associated with your driving, every lawyer would recommend that you contact a criminal defense lawyer in your state for state specific advice in your case.
Even if you don’t think you’ll need a lawyer or be able to afford a retained lawyer in your case, early consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in your state could prevent you from making your case worse and give you guidance about what to do next.
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