Washington ranks fifth in the nation for stick shift usage
Depending on where you live, not being able to drive a stick shift can elicit looks of judgment. There are plenty of people who drive manual in Washington according to a new vaguely scientific poll, so it may be best to keep quiet if you can’t.
“My mom said that there were four things that you needed to know how to do to be a man: Tie a bow tie, ride a horse, drive a stick shift, and fire a rifle,” joked KIRO Radio’s John Curley.
A recent CarMax survey found that Washington placed fifth in the nation for purchase of manual transmissions by its customers, clocking in at 4.87 percent behind Utah, Rhode Island, Idaho, and New Mexico at number one. There isn’t exactly a wide margin on the survey. New Mexico won the photo finish with 5.65 percent, and Illinois placed last with 2.04 percent manual usage.
“I love driving a stick shift, except in downtown Seattle in the bad traffic, or when I want to read my text messages and play with my phone while I’m driving,” said co-host Feliks Banel. “My theory would be that in mountainous states where you have curvy, two-lane roads, it’s great to have a stick shift. It’s safer, it’s faster, it’s more efficient.”
Stick shift drivers decreasing nationally every year
Automatic drivers have no need to worry about being in the minority anytime soon. A report from U.S. News and World found that only 18 percent of U.S. drivers know how to operate a stick shift, and merely 5 percent of vehicles sold in the U.S. today come with one.
“I want my kids to learn to drive it because I want to give that Porsche to my son or my daughter. Neither one is motivated in any way to learn to drive stick,” Curley said. “I told them I will give you this car. When I’m dead and gone you can have it, but learn how to drive a stick.”
“You know you’re not doing well when you can smell something burning, or my dad yelling, ‘Gas! Gas! Gas! Gas!'”
Do you know how to drive one?