When it comes to driver education classes, fewer teenagers are opting to take the extra lesson or so required to learn manual transmissions in 2018. The global auto dealership industry has been favoring sales of cars equipped with automatic transmissions, but the reason for this trend is purely related to business profits. The reality of manual transmissions is that they present a number of benefits that should not be ignored. There are many good reasons why your teen’s first car should be a stick shift, and here are three of them:
Standard Transmissions Reduce Distracted Driving
In an era where teenagers are enthralled with their mobile devices and all their inherent distractions, stick shift drivers have the upper hand in terms of safety. Parents are often dismayed to learn that infotainment centers in modern cars are being ignored by teens who prefer to drive with smartphones firmly in their hands. With manual transmissions, drivers have no choice but to dock their smartphones or tablets and make use of voice commands.
Stick Shifts Are Easier to Maintain
Compared to automatic transmissions, their manual counterparts are less prone to mechanical issues. If there is one part of a car that you can count on lasting forever is a manual gearbox. Modern automatic transmissions are technological wonders, which is why they require more frequent maintenance and repairs. Stick shifts, on the other hand, are more affordable to maintain and repair. If you needed to get your gearbox repaired, for example, it would be a lot easier to get that done than if the vehicle was an automatic. In the case of high-performance cars, manual transmissions and clutch systems will seldom need major repairs.
Manual Transmissions Grant Drivers Greater Control
Your teen drivers are bound to be more confident when they drive manual transmissions because they will have a better understanding of vehicle physics. Stick shift driving feels more involved, intuitive and engaging, and this can be attributed to the interplay between acceleration and torque. All the same, teen drivers are less likely to depend solely on the brakes when they drive standard transmissions because they can always rely on downshifting. Once your teens start traveling and think about driving abroad, they will have no problem renting cars equipped with manual transmissions.
In the end, teen drivers who get started with manual transmissions have the potential of becoming better drivers as they grow older. The trend of predominant automatic transmissions is not guaranteed to last forever, we may see stick shift cars return in decade or so, and you will want your teen to be prepared.