In countries such as the US where cars with automatic transmission forms the majority, it would be easy to ignore the need to learn manual or stick shift driving. People have to take heed of this warning : A person who knows how to drive a stick shift can always drive a car with automatic transmission in no time while the reverse situation is not always true. A driver accustomed to nothing else but automatic transmission will certainly be at a loss when presented with vehicles equipped with manual transmission.
Still a Necessity
Even with great advances in car technology that has made it easy for people to drive cars, knowledge of the basics is still necessary. It is always wiser to learn driving from manual to automatic rather than the other way around. Driving cars with manual transmission constitutes real learning since drivers are making the car move using their capabilities and not some pre-programmed feature in a car. Once a person learns driving basics, everything else usually follow.
Even for people who drive cars with automatic transmission, situations may arise that will require them to navigate a car with stick shift. Knowledge of manual driving is best obtained and kept for future use even when not presently needed. This simply beats having to relearn driving in an instant when confronted with such a situation.
Learning Stick Shift Driving
Stick shift driving is learned easily enough with practice. It always starts with controls familiarization since sensible driving would always be founded on knowing what to step on and when to shift. It is essentially a coordinated task of the hands, feet, eyes, ears, and instinct.
Gears are typically indicated at the gear shifter unless they have been erased in time. Drivers can always check on the car manuals for these information or feel the gear around while stepping on the clutch. Information on gear configuration for specific cars can also be searched online. Continued practice will involve pressing on the gas pedal, shifting gears to speed up and decrease speed, stalling, and stopping. Learning to park should follow as well.
The Perceived Difficulty
The perceived difficulty of stick shift driving lies mainly on the need for the driver to assess and decide when to shift. Since this is a given in cars with automatic transmission, it will require learning on the part of the driver. A real challenge is presented when maneuvering uphill because of the natural tendency of the vehicle to roll back when the first gear is engaged. These difficulties are expected to be eliminated through regular practice.
About the Author:
Teresa is a researcher-writer who covers a wide range of topics in search of useful information to offer to her readers. She currently maintains four personal blogs.