Shifting Away from Driving Stick
Earlier in the day, I was reading through my news feed on Facebook and happened to notice a story that one friend had linked.At the University of Cincinnati, two men tried to steal a car, but they gave up when the car was standard shift.Neither of them knew how to drive stick, so they were out of luck.I had to laugh at this.You would assume that someone in the business of car thefts would know how to drive basically anything they could get their hands on.To me, driving stick shift is such a simple and natural thing.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that stick shift isn’t such a common thing.You can call it stick, manual, or standard, but most people seem to only be familiar with the term automatic.I have known how to drive stick since before I ever got my license, but that doesn’t seem to be so common anymore.I’m sure there are people who will read this that can recall from many years ago when almost all cars were stick and buying an automatic wasn’t much of an option.
Why has driving a vehicle with a manual transmission become such a foreign concept?I believe part of it coincides with the current state of society.Most people seem to want to do as little as possible.Driving stick shift is almost like work.They feel that a car with an automatic transmission makes life easier, so they prefer that option.We have become so accustomed to luxuries and conveniences.
When I was in college, I worked at a car dealership for just over a year.We consistently had around 500 vehicles on the lot, and less than 20 of them were stick shift.That’s a mere 4%.I would venture to guess that more than 4% of vehicles on the road are stick shift, but I would assume it is not a very high percentage.When I think about my friends’ cars, most of them drive automatics.
It is not just the fact that the majority of cars are automatics now; it’s the idea that the knowledge of how to drive stick shift is dying.I believe that fewer and fewer people actually know how to drive stick.I have taught some of my friends and older siblings how to drive stick.I have also been asked by numerous other people if I will teach them.A lot of people have the general idea of how to drive stick, but they are not competent.
Personally, I would rather drive a manual vehicle; I think that driving automatic is boring.I have virtually only driven stick shift vehicles since I got my license, and I plan to only buy them in the future.I do not find it to be a burden to drive stick.It is something that happens naturally without even thinking about shifting.I always feel like I have more control over the vehicle by driving a standard shift.I would guess it all comes down to a matter of preference, but I found it interesting to think about how stick shift is somewhat phasing out.