Automatic transmissions are all the rage in America, but did you know that manual remains more popular in the UK? While it may be a matter of preference or habit for some, there are benefits to both options that drivers enjoy. If you’re torn on the matter, here’s how to choose between a manual or an automatic transmission.
Benefits of Manual
The main benefit to a manual transmission is that you have more control over the vehicle. You’re in charge of shifting, giving yourself a boost when going uphill, and have an extra level of focus during your drives.
Manual vehicles tend to be less expensive than their automatic counterparts, though that isn’t always the case, but these cars might make more sense from a financial standpoint. At the same time, some people have simply learned to love the habit and feel like something is missing when driving an automatic.
Benefits of Automatic
For most drivers, an automatic transmission means the car is easier to drive. You don’t have to worry about shifting or a clutch, which means the car isn’t going to stall if you’re out of gear. This simplicity can help reduce accidents for some drivers, too.
Transitions are smoother, a lack of grinding gears means a longer-lasting transmission, and you can keep your full focus on the road to avoid distracted driving. For many, however, the learning curve for a manual is steep. Instead of needing personal injury trial lawyers after an accident caused by mishandling the stick shift, they prefer the simple option of an automatic.
Your Driving Habits and Style
If most of your driving takes place in urban areas, you’re probably better off with an automatic transmission to help avoid a constant jarring effect from changing gears. Not having to rely on the clutch helps to eliminate driving fatigue, which is often an issue in dense traffic.
Driving longer distances at faster speeds is where the manual transmission shines. Not only can this help increase efficiency, but it places you in better control of the car while at high speeds. If you’re a driving enthusiast, then using a stick can put you in tune with the cars you love to drive.
What About Fuel Efficiency?
There’s a belief that manual cars give the driver more control over fuel efficiency, but that isn’t always the case. Fuel economy depends on various factors, which change from one model to the next. While you might be able to get a better speed for the road with a manual, the latest automatic cars might be able to outdo most drivers.
A Note on Safety
Learning to drive a stick shift is difficult for some drivers, especially those who have relied on automatic transmissions for years. While a manual can give you better control over a vehicle, automatics are often considered safer. This is especially true as driver assistance technology becomes the norm.
If you do plan on learning how to drive a stick, take your time. You don’t want to be held liable for an accident because you failed to shift at the right time. Always rely on a quality attorney, like those at the Law Office of Daniel H. Rose, if you do find yourself in an accident.