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Driving a Stick Shift: A Must-Learn For Teenagers?

Stick Shift


Today, manual transmissions or stick shifts are no longer popular in most cars sold in America and other countries.  No doubt, the percentage of new vehicles with stick-shift gearboxes remains a small slice of the new vehicle market because most of today’s models don’t even offer manuals. Most teenagers have never driven a car with stick shift and clutch.  This worries the classic car industry. They may run out of future customers.  Thus, Hagerty Insurance, which specializes in policies to protect classic cars, came up with a one-day class for young drivers in Philadelphia last month to revive its interest with stick shifts and clutches.

Fifteen through twenty five year-olds learned to operate manual transmissions on the vintage automobiles, such as a 1930 Ford Model A, a classic 1966 Ford Mustang, a sporty 1974 Karmann Ghia and a pint-sized 1960 Austin Healey Sprite, that they could take for a quick spin.  Their Hagerty Driving Experience comprise a 30 minutes of car basics instructions, then 15 minutes behind the wheel of classic cars, navigating a closed course.  According to McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty Insurance, “As summer comes to a close, it’s been great to educate kids about classic car before they head back to school.”

Is learning to driving manual transmissions operated car really important?  Many people consider manuals more fun to drive than automatics I always felt they gave you better control of the car.  Learning how to drive a stick shift has its many benefits such as longer life for your brakes due to engine braking, more control in slippery/snow conditions, and better fuel efficiency over an automatic, can start a car with a dead battery without a jumpstart, cheaper to fix and maintain and cost less to buy.  The driving experience in a stick shift is something significant for the coordination of clutching and shifting makes you pay attention to your driving.

I think this is a catastrophe to happen.  A teenager driving a stick shift and texting while driving.  They would have to use their knees for the steering wheel.  Let the stick shift have the same death as rear wheel drive.  This will keep our roads safe from another distraction that could cause a serious car accident or fatal crash.


About the author: Mike Schafer


  1. Stephen says:

    I disagree. Driving a manual keeps the driver more focused and having to use the other hand constantly makes texting while driving harder.

  2. Mike Schafer says:

    That is a very good point Stephen.

  3. Mary says:

    I’m thankful someone is speaking to this. I can’t find the truth of statistics about the stick shift and fatalities and/or accidents and I want to know Why Not!? It seems something is being hidden for the sale of a vehicle that is going down in popularity anyway. More attention due to necessity is more inattention by accident in the event of emergency and too many things just involved in driving a car. I believe if they did the statistics we would have the answer. Where are they? Who will do them/share them? My husband bought a 5 speed for the popular reasons for my 18 year old who learned to drive only recently. I am very upset and want him to re-sell it now that he has fixed it some – needed some work. It is an 05. He says it is worth much more than he bought it for now. So why not sell for the profit and get her in something easier to focus on the road with. Focusing on ‘driving’ is not focusing on The Road/other driver!

  4. Mike Schafer says:

    I agree Mary. Good luck with selling your car!

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