Forget Self-Driving Cars. Bring Back the Stick Shift A psychiatrist argues for manual transmissions so we’ll pay more attention when driving.


The psychiatrist is ignorant. Based on personal visual and some actual experience, it won’t work.

I’ve seen a lady driving to work in a stick-shift car while eating a bowl of cereal steering with her pinky finger.

I’ve seen many people driving stick, talking on their phone while smoking or eating in the car all at the same time.

I’ve seen many things being done in cars while driving long before cell phones came into play. Things like playing the french horn, juggling and having sex.


I’ve heard about using the stick shift for that.

This psychiatrist, like so many of them, needs his head examined.

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French cars especially!

You really need to stop posting car articles from a newspaper located in a city of people who don’t own cars.


You can make fun of them. I didn’t post the article to endorse it. I like to drive a manual because I enjoy paying attention.

“A car with a stick shift and clutch pedal requires the use of all four limbs, making it difficult to use a cellphone or eat while driving. Lapses in attention are therefore rare, especially in city driving where a driver might shift gears a hundred times during a trip to the grocery store.”


I’m stuck in traffic quite a bit, so I get to look around and observe my fellow drivers, and I see plenty of people driving stick shift cars who are nevertheless eating, talking on their cell phone, combing their hair, shaving, applying lipstick, reading the newspaper, etc. And some of them appear to be quite adept at multi-tasking

I’m not condoning such behaviour . . . but the author’s thinking doesn’t seem to coincide with reality.


Back in the late 1960s when I first started driving, I was shifting gears, changing 8-track tapes, smoking a cigarette, and holding my beer below window level, all at the same time.

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when I was young and learning to drive a stick, I gave myself a personal goal of city driving in the summer while eating an ice cream cone (without dripping or making a mess)

Looks like the author’s theory has been completely debunked . . . :smiling_imp:

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I disagree. You tell us stories about the young & foolish, who can do anything. If driving a manual increases the attention some pay some of the time…

Me . . . ?

What stories . . . ?

Refresh my memory, please . . .

Not just you, but all the stories above to which you refer.

Why are you misquoting me . . . ?

I didn’t mention anybody’s age

In the 60’s I didn’t have a car for awhile, so I borrowed a friend’s '39 Ply coupe. Had beer in left hand, burger in right on gear knob. Everyone else was holding something while shifting, so why not? It seemed liked the going thing at that time.

The examples I posted had a range of ages. The cereal eating lady was in her 40s, the juggler was, too.

Today’s drivers can’t survive without cup holders while back in the GOOD OLE DAYS men like us could double clutch school buses while eating a chili-dog and reading Playboy and keeping WLS tuned in. I’m convinced that the decline in driver’s abilities these days is linked directly to the lack of nicotine. Back in the 60s doctors recommended the best cigarettes to smoke and smart people like us recognized just how much we benefited from the advice.


Just because a suggestion won’t completely solve a problem doesn’t mean it won’t help solve a problem. Besides as a bonus a stick is a cheap antitheft device.

I have owned stick shift vehicles (2001 was the last one) and found that when I’m in stop-and-go traffic with a stick shift I go COMPLETELY INSANE. I yell at the cars, “this is a freeway, WHY ARE WE STOPPING???” and my frustration level just hits the roof. Automatic and traffic? Yeah, well, whatever. Total chill. For this reason I will never own another stick shift car until I move to Montana.