Illustration for article titled Are You emReally/em Able To Drive a Manual Transmission Car?

Is it really true that nobody knows how to drive a stick these days? I tend to doubt the "automatic transmission is destroying our ability to drive" gloom-and-doom crowd, but who can say? Time for a totally unscientific poll!


See, my not-really-based-on-reality feeling is that 80% of the American population remains capable of working a car with a manual— I know, these damn kids these days done got spoiled by their internets and slushboxes, but automatics have outnumbered manuals since the mid-1960s, right?

Here's how it works: if you feel comfortable hopping behind the wheel of a car equipped with three pedals and driving without any anxiety about the whole clutch/shifting thing, then you can operate a manual transmission-equipped vehicle. If you can sorta figure it out but keep killing the engine and or grinding the gears, or if you kinda drove a stick that one time after you drank all that Boone's Farm at the drive-in and had to flee the rent-a-cop in a 3-on-the-tree '51 Chevy, then you can't drive a manual-transmission-equipped vehicle. There's no reason to lie, although probably some of you will anyway... and, just to make it more interesting, let's have an age split at 25. OK? Right!

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I'm surprised that nobody has bragged about how they can shift without using the clutch, so I'm going to.

Most of the time I do it, it is just out of sheer laziness that I don't want to move my foot off the dead pedal. Or I think I'm a race car driver.

That or I am trying to impress somebody with my skills, which they either don't notice, or just don't think it's as cool as I do