Stick Shifts: A reliable anti-theft device?

Earlier this month, a gun wielding thief attempted to steal a car after taking the keys from the owner. The man was then stymied by the car’s manual transmission, for he did not know how to drive one. He then demanded that the owner drive him to his destination and then exited the vehicle (probably to walk around and get in the passenger seat. The owner then got into his vehicle and drove off, leaving the crook cursing in the parking lot until he was picked up by police. I challenge you to write a funnier ending to this story.

For what seems like the past three decades, manual transmission vehicle ownership has declined greatly. If you take a sample of students at any high school, you may be lucky to find a dozen teenagers that have learned how to drive a stick shift. Their parents have most likely given up their manual for a commuter-friendly automatic.

Let that happen for a couple generations and you have nearly an entire generation of young people that have had no exposure to a stick shift (society likes to call them “millenials”). Consequently that creates a generation of small-time criminals that may find themselves staring at a shift knob with no clue what to do.

So a stick shift apparently adds a fool-proof security layer to any car. Too bad it only exists when manual transmissions are extremely unpopular. That being said, we do advocate that people at least learn to drive a manual transmission. It’s a valuable skill to have to be able to drive one when needed. Do you believe that one day manual transmissions will become extinct?

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