Automatic vs Manual Transmissions
Amongst car-driving high schoolers, there is extensive debate on which transmission is superior; automatic or manual.
Many people believe that automatic transmissions are safer, simply because shifting can take away from the focus of the driver. On the contrary side, people who drive manual say that they feel like they have more control over the vehicle.
“I feel like I have much more control over the vehicle with a manual transmission,” Cage Campbell ‘16 said.
The question is often posed of which transmission is safer and more efficient.
Many people claim that manual transmissions are far superior in fuel economy, but this is actually a myth. Modern automatic transmissions have very complex computers that monitor nearly every aspect that makes the car go forward; much like a human does in a manual transmission. These computers are programed to get the best fuel economy possible out of the car. Many types of hybrids, mostly automatic vehicles, these days use a separate electric motor instead of a fossil fuel engine to accelerate. Another aspect to keep into consideration is safety. People who side with manual transmissions argue that they are safer because it is significantly harder to use a cell phone with a manual.
“A manual transmission requires both hands to drive; thus making it much more difficult to use a cell phone,” Campbell said.
Another reason is because one would not get distracted or start to daydream with a manual because it requires more focus to drive. However, people who side with automatic transmissions say that they are safer because the focus required to drive is not spared to shift when the car does it for you.
Another interesting fact to contribute to the argument favoring manual transition is that according to statistics, thieves are much less likely to steal a manual vehicle, simply because they do not have the knowledge to drive them away.
“Manual transmissions are much more fun to drive in my opinion,” Campbell said.
One more reason why one would side with a manual is that if the brakes failed on the vehicle, one would have the ability to easily shift down to slow with the engine, which is much harder to do with most computerized automatic transmissions.
“Automatics are just a brake and throttle,” Campbell said, “not much fu