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One thing I don't get

I keep reading stories like:

my sister learned to drive stick on it so the next time I replaced the clutch (not too long after the first time) I also rebuilt the trans.



I don’t know how to drive a manual but I would like to learn.


I want to buy a beater to learn to drive stick


The gunman, who police say was late teens or early 20's, didn’t steal his car because it was a stick.


So okay, this last one is positive,but still.

I get that in the US, a vast majority of cars are automatic. Hell, even I accept an auto in a US car, you don’t need a manual if you can’t take turns.

But what I don’t understand is this fear or difficulty to learn to drive a manual.

I have to admit, my first time behind the wheel of a car was in a Golf 2 that was headed to the junkyard anyway. I drove it for about 20m in my backyard, which means I started it, let the clutch go, hoped forward and stalled, restarted it, let the clutch go slower, drove a few meters, had to brake, and miraculously remembered to press the clutch.


My second attempt to driving a car was a few weeks later, when I was 16 years old, on the open road. My driving instructor arrived at my home, went to the passenger side, and gave me the keys. I was super nervous at first, but nailed the start and drove on. In the following sessions, it stalled a few times and miss-shifted a few times too, but nothing dramatic which would ruin a clutch or a transmission, and was in part related to the fact these little 206s had very little torque.
I am no shifting wizard (I will absolutely claim that title now) and most other people learn to drive more or less the same way. I taught several of my friends to drive on empty parking lots or dirt roads and none ruined my cars.

So my question is: Why are people in the US so afraid/incapable of driving a manual car?

Illustration for article titled One thing I dont get

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