Can an inside brake light reminder be installed?

Messages
373
Location
Scottsdale, AZ
I am trying to break my daughter from riding the brake with her left foot. She left foot brakes and complains she gets horrible gas mileage. I've tried to explain it to her and she keeps doing it. She was rear ended recently and I'm convinced it was because she was riding the brake and her brake light was constantly on.

I want to rig a light inside the car to tell her when she is riding the brakes, either on the dash or near the rear window where she can see it in her rear view mirror. I want it bright so she can't ignore it.

Any suggestions on how to do this? She has a 2005 Mazda 6 Wagon and has the high mounted third brake light on the lift gate.
Simple charge her whatever the heck dealer charges for new brakes and rotors.

Not sure in truth the new Mazda’s have a light that pops up in the gauge cluster if you’re sitting on the brakes and throttle. You could drill a small hole in the back of the brake light housing so she gets a flash of light in the cabin, that seems like a terrible idea. The only people I know who left foot brake are older people who learned to drive with both feet and use the left for braking but all of them are 70+, my wife races autocross and left foot brakes on the track but switches seamlessly to normal on the road always boggles my mind how she can do that.
 
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Messages
1,873
Location
New England, USA
I installed a CHMSL on one of my older vehicles. The unit has an indicator that shines forward and is very noticeable. As someone mentioned, if the front of the CHMSL is in the rear view mirror's line of sight, I would drill a hole through the cover and reflector if that would work. If not, should be easy to rig an led on the rear shelf or from the headliner shining forward then tap into a brake light circuit.
 
Messages
1,967
Location
Winnipeg MB CA
This is usually the behavior of a nervous driver, they are afraid of the reaction time between moving their foot to the brake or not being able to find it, so they hover their left foot over it. It's dangerous because they can inadvertently apply the brakes causing an accident, in addition to the wear on the brake system of the car. I have come across drivers slamming their brakes on when they see any car approaching, even if they aren't anywhere near them.
Way back when I was learning to drive, there was debate over left-foot braking. It was thought there would soon be no manual transmissions (or "standards", as we called them back then) left, and that people driving only automatics would benefit from left-foot braking. Quicker reaction time, I guess.

Dad tried it for a short time, and warned me off - he said he'd gotten confused one time and hit both the brake and the gas at the same time, and almost drove into a building.

I took my lessons on an MT car (an AMC Hornet), and my first couple of cars had MTs, so I never got into the left foot thing.
 
Messages
3,177
Location
USA
Someone who drives like that will also go through a lot of brake light bulbs. It is not uncommon to find no brake lights at all working, because every single bulb is burnt out. Then of course they get rear-ended.

Left-footed braking is not wholly incompatible with manual transmission, you would just need to push the shift lever to neutral before stopping.
 

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Messages
45,790
Location
Ontario, Canada
Way back when I was learning to drive, there was debate over left-foot braking. It was thought there would soon be no manual transmissions (or "standards", as we called them back then) left, and that people driving only automatics would benefit from left-foot braking. Quicker reaction time, I guess.

Dad tried it for a short time, and warned me off - he said he'd gotten confused one time and hit both the brake and the gas at the same time, and almost drove into a building.

I took my lessons on an MT car (an AMC Hornet), and my first couple of cars had MTs, so I never got into the left foot thing.

There's a test machine at the Ontario Science Centre that tests your brake pedal reaction time. It's a machine with both a gas and a brake and you have to hold down the gas and then slam on the brakes when the screen tells you to stop. I tried using both feet and the traditional single foot application and in every single test using just the right foot was significantly faster. I observed the same characteristic with a number of other people.

Ergo, there's actually a reaction time DISADVANTAGE by going to left-foot braking on top of the other disadvantages inherent with it. If I were the OP I'd focus on trying to teach her to drive properly rather than adapting the vehicle to accommodate her doing it wrong.
 
Messages
1,967
Location
Winnipeg MB CA
There's a test machine at the Ontario Science Centre that tests your brake pedal reaction time. It's a machine with both a gas and a brake and you have to hold down the gas and then slam on the brakes when the screen tells you to stop. I tried using both feet and the traditional single foot application and in every single test using just the right foot was significantly faster. I observed the same characteristic with a number of other people.

Ergo, there's actually a reaction time DISADVANTAGE by going to left-foot braking on top of the other disadvantages inherent with it. If I were the OP I'd focus on trying to teach her to drive properly rather than adapting the vehicle to accommodate her doing it wrong.
Interesting! I wonder if that's because most people's right leg is their dominant one (and therefore whether it would be the opposite for us lefties), or whether the neural pathways for right-foot braking are stronger because of use, or something else.

When L foot braking was considered an option, we were told to "cover" the brake with our L foot (that is, hold it just above the brake pedal) in certain situations - the standard scenario was driving past parked cars on a residential street, and a ball bouncing out from between cars, followed by a young child dashing into the street.

Dad's '67 Chrysler Newport seemed to be set up for it - that brake pedal was incredibly wide, at least in my memory.

Found a photo online. Dad's didn't have the console shift, but otherwise it looks pretty familiar.

1967 Chrysler interior.jpg
 

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Messages
45,790
Location
Ontario, Canada
Interesting! I wonder if that's because most people's right leg is their dominant one (and therefore whether it would be the opposite for us lefties), or whether the neural pathways for right-foot braking are stronger because of use, or something else.

When L foot braking was considered an option, we were told to "cover" the brake with our L foot (that is, hold it just above the brake pedal) in certain situations - the standard scenario was driving past parked cars on a residential street, and a ball bouncing out from between cars, followed by a young child dashing into the street.

Dad's '67 Chrysler Newport seemed to be set up for it - that brake pedal was incredibly wide, at least in my memory.

Found a photo online. Dad's didn't have the console shift, but otherwise it looks pretty familiar.

View attachment 38240

I'm a leftie too, so the test was done with a leftie ;)

I remember the huge brake pedals, my parent's '86 Olds Wagon had a pretty large one. I think most non-manual cars of that era had large ones, not sure if it was to accommodate the addition of left-foot braking or simply to fill the generous space that was available in those large footwells of those older vehicles.
 
Messages
2,090
Location
GA
wow; that's a pretty bad habit! breaking with your left foot is always erratic, thus dangerous

at night the driver can see that third brake light; at daytime pretty much it is impossible from inside the car

if she can brake the habit, it would be the best solution to the situation
 
Messages
3,476
Location
Parts Unknown
Buy a bright light, install it into the dash instrument panel and it's powered by the brake lights. If there is a fuse for it, connect it to that, if not, run a line from the brake light back.
 
Messages
1,519
Location
iowa
I don't know how people can say left foot braking is dangerous or illegal. It is actually an advanced driving technique I've always tried to use, especially for defensive driving anticipating braking in hazardous situations, because is quicker, and sometimes you need to blend brakes, and throttle in a turn. Check out this pedal dance in a from a NASCAR foot-cam video. The 55 Chevy I'm building with an automatic I moved the brake pedal to the left just so I can easily brake with my left foot, and throttle for the other. In a racing go-kart that is the only way they are built.
My dad actually taught me to left foot brake while learning to drive 50 years ago.
 
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Messages
234
Location
South
Having an extra distraction for the driver to monitor isn’t the answer. The habit will have to be broken by her because she has chosen to. After the initial cost of brake pads and rotors is her’s to handle the habit will probably stop.
 

GON

$50 Site Donor
Messages
541
Location
SLC, UT
Out of the box recommendation.... Consider having you and your daughter take an introduction to motorcycle riding course. It provide a great increase in awareness and confidence in Motor Vehicle Driving- not just motorcycle riding. It is a great family activity.

I do not own a motorcycle- but I do take the course as a proactive measure in trying to keep my skills up to date.
 

twouvakind

Site Donor 2021
Messages
433
Location
New Jersey
Yep in some places. When I was taking my driving test I was so used to driving manual I kept hitting it with my left foot and he said if I did it again he would fail me because it was illegal in Virginia. You can use it for the clutch of course in a manual but not a b
You can also tell her that way back when this was the style of older ladies wearing thick lipstick. The power brake pedals used to be much bigger than they are now and those ladies would ride those brakes all over town. The smell of hot drums made it apparent.
And job security for the asbestos brake shoe relining companies, more cores please!
 
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