Since the invention of the Oldsmobile “Hydra-Matic” in 1940, automatic transmission vehicles have slowly but surely taken over the car market. However, there are numerous benefits to having your teen driver learn to drive a ‘stick’.
Better Fuel Efficiency
According to Consumer Reports, cars with manual transmissions save gas mileage by 2 to 5 mpg, which trims annual fuel costs by approximately $800. This fuel efficiency may come with a price, however as some manual cars are now more expensive than automatics due to their rarity on the market.
Manual Transmissions Keeps The Driver Occupied
With texting while driving becoming one of the big menaces of the road, having your teen or young adult drive a stick requires them to be more engaged and focused. According to Distraction.gov, drivers 15 – 19 years old make up the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of a crash. And in 2014, 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 were injured in accidents involving distracted drivers. With one hand on the wheel and the other on the stick, young drivers are less able to text or do anything else while driving. A stellar reason to teach your teen to drive a manual transmission!
Understanding How a Car Works
Teaching your teen how to drive a manual transmission is a great segue into teaching them how a car functions. When learning how to successfully shift gears with a stick, drivers gain a basic understanding of the clutch, the gearbox, the differential and how to best control these moving parts.
Ability to Drive all Types of Cars
There are four different kinds of transmissions: Manual, fully automatic, semi-automatic, and continuously variable transmission. Learning how to manually shift the gears on a car enables a driver to better operate the other three kinds of transmissions available on vehicles.
Better Engine Control
There is no better way to handle the engine of your car than by directing the moving parts yourself. Manual transmissions are capable of handling higher torque loads. Additionally, the driver can utilize engine braking (or downshift) when driving down steep or slippery slopes. Standard automatic braking systems which can, at times, pose more risks.
Deter Car Thieves
There have been numerous reported instances of thieves who have been deterred when finding the car they’re targeting has a manual transmission. An additional unexpected benefit of driving a stick shift!