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When buying a car, many in the United States compare and contrast a myriad of features: fuel efficiency, design, safety, and more. One feature that has become widely ignored in this decision making process is whether or not to buy a vehicle with a manual transmission. Why the lack of interest in manual cars? Many point to the steep learning curve and the lack of options since over ninety percent of cars sold in the United States are automatic, in addition to many other reasons. Though sales of manual cars have dwindled, there are many benefits to owning a manual.
Cars with manual transmissions are historically more fuel-efficient than their counterparts with automatic transmissions. In a recent Consumer Reports investigation (February 2013), cars with manual transmissions have proven again that they can improve gas mileage by two to five miles per gallon, which translates to thousands of dollars in savings. Although there is a steep learning curve with learning how to drive a manual, there are guaranteed savings to those that are willing to put in the extra effort.
Manual Transmission Enhances Attentiveness of Drivers
Inattention is a leading cause of accidents in the United States. In 2006, health professionals from the University of Virginia produced a study proving that driving a manual can significantly enhance the attentiveness of drivers with ADHD. The study included a sample size of ten adolescent males with ADHD. These adolescents practiced driving a manual and an automatic in a driving simulator. After the test, the adolescents reported that they felt more attentive while driving a manual and they objectively did drive safer during the simulations. This information could prove helpful to those seeking to buy a car for their adolescent sons and daughters with ADHD, or to those whom feel they need to be more attentive while driving.
Manual Cars Are Ubiquitous In Other Parts of the World
According to New York Daily News, over eighty percent of cars sold in Europe and Japan have manual transmissions. The reasons for Europe and Japan’s admiration for the manual are not entirely clear. However, if one wants to rent a car or drive in these areas of the world, then one must already know or learn how to drive a car with a manual transmission.
Manual Cars Accelerate Faster Than Automatics
If one knows how to drive a manual correctly, it can accelerate significantly faster than an automatic. According to the same Consumer Reports Investigation, manual cars out-accelerated automatics by an average of over one second. Although one second in acceleration may not seem important, it is a significant difference for those interested in racing or those interested in getting to work a little faster.
Over ninety percent of cars sold in the United States are automatics. Industry analyst, Ivan Drury of Edmunds.com states, “[Manual cars in the United States] are on track to be virtually extinct in the next 15 to 20 years.” Brad Tutle of Time Magazine whole-heartedly agrees with Drury’s analysis: The manual car will be extinct very soon. Although these men may have valuable insight into the future of the manual car, it would be foolish to write its obituary just yet and ignore its many benefits. If one wants a car that is cheaper, has better gas mileage, has better acceleration, can improve one’s attentiveness on the road, and is ubiquitous in other areas of the world, go with a manual.
This article was written by Vito Sanchez, a car enthusiast who hopes to be able to help you become a better car owner. He writes this on behalf of Kanetix, your number one choice when looking for good policy [c1] auto insurance. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!
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