It’s a simple question that strikes fear in teen drivers everywhere: Can you drive a stick shift? I don’t understand what is so scary about this—I HAD to learn to drive stick or I couldn’t drive. I am so glad my Dad made me learn. It seems manual transmissions have become an obsolete concept to new drivers–I don’t see what the fuss is about. Here are five simple reasons your teen needs to learn to drive a stick shift.
Last year my husband and I taught our teen to drive, and she was petrified at the idea of driving a manual transmission. She had all these concerns, and was afraid she would stall and be a laughing-stock. Fast forward one year and she is glad she can drive both manual and automatic transmissions. It gives her the flexibility to use more than just one type of car in our driveway. She learned also that it gave her more control of the car overall.
Teen Drivers: 5 Reasons To Drive a Stick Shift
1. Control- A stick shift gives you opportunity to decide the speed of the engine and overall gives you much better control of the car. It also forces you to be aware of your speed, which in turn makes safer teen drivers on the road.
Tip: A manual transmission is GREAT for kids with ADHD, because they have to focus and pay attention to the car at all times.
2. Inspiration- Lead by example. If one friend is doing something many others will follow suit when they see it’s not that hard to do. While I don’t condone this for many things, this is a great way for teens to lead by example. Knowing how to drive a stick might be the difference in them getting their own car or having to share moms mini-van.
3.Better Gas Mileage and Longer Brake Life- You have full control of the engine’s speed and its operation and can make more economical choices while driving. When downshifting, you can use the car’s engine power to slow the car, saving wear on your brakes. My daughters biggest complaint is putting gas in the car, this saves her trips to the gas station and money (which is a HUGE deal).
4. Safety- You can’t text while you’re driving–and neither can teens at the wheel.It’s almost impossible to manage or operate your device while shifting gears, much less read an email or send a text. You also cannot come to a screeching halt when driving a stick, you have to down shift to slow the car down.
5. More in tune with Car Mechanics- A manual transmission allows you to control more of the car, which in turn will make them much more aware of when something is wrong with it. Your teen won’t need to wait for a check engine light, they will know when something is off.
Once your teen knows how to drive a stick shift they will feel more empowered and less afraid to learn new things that may have seemed impossible when they began. These are just a few of the reasons why knowing how to drive a stick shift is important, especially for teen drivers.