Many Teenage Drivers Abandoning the Manual Transmission

I’ve noticed some trends among today’s youth that really confound me. While automatic ...

I’ve noticed some trends among today’s youth that really confound me. While automatic transmissions have certainly come a long way since I got my driver’s license, it’s still so strange to me how few people do, or even can, drive a stick shift. While a modern, electronically controlled auto is almost certainly going to be quicker than even the best driver behind the wheel of a manual transmission car, there is quite literally nothing like the feeling of rolling into the throttle, dumping the clutch and grabbing gears, even if you’re just headed to work.

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Our youth especially seems to have lost touch with the art of driving a stick, some thing my parents insisted I learned early on in my driving education. While stick shifts are fewer and farther between in 2017 than they were 20 years ago, it still seems like a skill everybody should learn while they’re learning to change lanes and parallel park. It’s a skill that could literally save your life should you find yourself in need of a ride and the only car available happens to have a clutch and you know what to do with that third pedal.

I’ve also noticed kids not even being in a hurry to get their driver’s license. I attribute this to social media, something that was quite literally in is most basic infancy when I was learning to drive and getting my license. I couldn’t wait to have the freedom to drive and go hang out with my friends, but now kids do that digitally without ever leaving their bedrooms. I’m not going off on the whole tangent about how social media has had such a negative effect on being social, but just being able to jump in the car and hit the road is a freedom like no other that I feel everybody should exercise often. It’s even better when you’re working that clutch pedal and rowing through the gears.

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