Stick Shift Driving: A Lost Skill?


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Detail of Stick shift. SEE my other pictures from my “Drive” lightbox:

Claire Ricke '25, Staff Writer

The manual specification used to be the most common and safe choice for first-time drivers.

Since then, the convenience and ease of the automatic car has almost completely wiped the traditional option out. 


However, there is still use for these cars in the 21st century. Yes, the “stick shift” car is more work, but there are also considerable benefits. 


When a driver is forced to utilize both hands when driving, it is much more difficult to use a phone and leads to a safer driving experience.  Additionally, the driver gets a better sense of how to evaluate the gear system and becomes more aware of the car’s systems as a whole. This helps the driver feel more in control and feel stronger behind the wheel. 


All of these factors make purchasing a stick shift more appealing, and should be taken into consideration when looking into buying a car. 


Ex-fireman Joe Gnaster stated that, “I drove that firetruck for over 20 years. Driving a stick is like driving a bike, I don’t think I’ll ever forget how” as well as, “I think it’s admirable that some people are still learning, it’s becoming a lost skill”. 

Stick Shift Driving: A Lost Skill?

Conversely Eva Fetahagic’25 drives a standard manual car, “There really isn’t any point in making more work for yourself. Why would you want to drive that every morning?” 


Over the years, as technology advances, people have become more and more trusting of modern technology and devices. The automatic choice is the easier choice, making it much more appealing to consumers, regardless of the benefits that a stick shift offers.