Manual transmission carshave never exactly been popular in the U.S. They were, however, until recently, available as an option on everyday cars and a perk on performance vehicles.
Manual cars are fading off into the horizon, though.
Jerrytakes a look at what's going on with this transmission option and why it's becoming more rare.
The driving culture in the U.S. doesn't mix with manual cars
Because of this, drivers aren't looking to do extra tasks to operate their cars. They’re already occupied with the monotony of crawling along on interstates and frequent stopping.
Europe, though, there’s an entirely different driving culture. MotorBiscuit reported that Europeans are much more engaged when they’re driving. For them, a cup of coffee or tea is something you enjoy on a break, not chug down on the drive to work.
Americans often engage in distracted driving
Another reason why the manual transmission has fallen out of favor is that Americans are always doing something else while driving, as reported by MotorBiscuit.
It's common to see people driving along, engaged in active conversation on a phone call, or munching away at a fast-food lunch behind the wheel.
Many people feel the need to jam-pack activities and multitask to best utilize their time. This can lead to distracted driving and low awareness about the flow of traffic. Of course, this also won’t leave you enough attention to change gears.
Distracted driving is not a safe driving habit, and it can lead to dangerous consequences like traffic collisions.
Driver assistance features don't mix with manual cars
To counteract bad driving habits and improve vehicle safety, many new cars come equipped with a range of driver assistance features.
However, many of these safety features aren't compatible with manual cars since it's the driver, not an electronic system, that’s in control of changing gears.
Carmakers like Subaru still offer
manual gearboxeson some of their performance models, but manual is getting phased out on many core models. Subaru is focusing on its EyeSight driver assistance tech instead, which can lower the throttle and brake in pre-collision situations.
Other brands like Honda and Toyota are also phasing out manuals and introducing more features with their driver assistance packages. Even on performance vehicles like the Toyota Supra, manual transmissions are becoming a thing of the past.
The current Supra doesn't have a manual option for safety reasons, according to
Motor Trend. Interestingly, though, it's so that drivers don't destroy the transmission by making modifications and overworking it, which MotorTrend mentions was a problem with past Supras.
Although the future of manual transmissions in the U.S. may be unclear, one constant is the need for affordable car insurance.
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