The fact that in America a manual is actually considered a theft deterrent device and you get a discount on your insurance for it is just sad. American is also home to the worst drivers in the universe which is also sad. Whereas in Europe automatics are rarer than a funny German and bad drivers are weeded out at birth.
Seriously, when a type of transmission is an actual theft deterrent you know we have a problem, and it will never be fixed. We also have horrible drivers here, which makes it harder for us enthusiasts to actually enjoy driving because we’re too busy worrying about our high blood pressure caused by our daily commute. Going to Germany made it even worse; manuals are so entrenched in their driving culture that the traffic lights are even set up around them. For those unfamiliar with them, the lights don’t go from red to green; they actually go from red, to yellow for a few seconds and then green. If you drive a manual then you might be able to guess why, but since I can’t hear you saying yes or see you nodding your head I’ll explain: when you see the light go yellow you put the clutch in and the transmission in gear and by the time you do that the light is green and you’re off in a cloud of tire smoke, or blueish smoke if you’re driving an American car. I suspect that because of this lighting system that German throw-out bearings last much longer than American’s one. For those of you that have no clue what the hell I’m talking about I’ll explain this too: when you depress the clutch pedal then the throw-out bearing starts spinning, and it’s not designed for continuous use, so don’t sit at lights with the clutch pedal depressed forever, unless you like paying lots of money for repairs. That’s probably a horrible explanation because I barely remember transmissions class.
Why do American’s hate automatics so much? Well I think it’s because everyone is so lazy. Why buy a car where you might actually have to pay attention and not be able to eat and do your makeup and text your friends, all at once. I’m sure there’s a better explanation but I’m going to stick with that until someone tells gives me a better explanation.
Now what about the second part of my title suggesting that drivers here suck? Well, it’s my opinion that drivers here suck compared to our European drivers, and I also contribute that to our inherent love to be lazy, partially, the other part is that our drivers training just sucks and it’s way too easy, and cheap, to get a license in this country. I remember my German friends telling me that it costs well over 1,000 Euros and something like several years to get a license, and it seemed to work because the few people my age that could drive were really good. The family I stayed while on my exchange drove really fast but I enjoyed it, and I drive a lot like them, and get the same amount of shit as they did. I think it must be a thing with people who live in California to be scared of something they can’t do, and in this case it’s driving fast safely.
So how do we fix these two fundamental problems? Well the automatics problem is here to stay since manuals are now on the endangered species list. And the whole shitty driver’s thing is also here to stay since pussy little “millennials” hate cars and driving, so when you see a Zipcar run for your life, because I guarantee it’s a “millennial” and they have no idea how to drive. But say they wanted to grow a pair an learn how to drive, well I’d advocate for much longer drivers training programs, and make it a little more expensive, but introduce financial assistance so that working class families won’t be priced out of driving. I think that everyone should be allowed to drive and not priced out of it, but they should all LEARN how to drive and not just go into the DMV and get their license.
Editor's Note: I don't seriously think that America has the worst drivers out of the entire world. And for those of you offended by the millennial comment I was not talking about anyone on Oppositelock or Jalopnik because I think it's safe to assume that everyone here is an enthusiast who doesn't hate cars.