I’ve come up with the perfect legislation to replace those unenforceable laws banning cellphone use while driving. My answer is simple. Enact a law preventing automobile manufacturers from selling cars in the U.S. with automatic transmissions.
It is the automatic transmission that is the bugaboo. It is the mother of accidents.
My grand plan was hatched this morning by a report on NPR radio. It said manual transmissions are undergoing an uptick in car sales, a 6% increase or something like that in the previous quarter alone. The rationale? They’re more fun to drive, according to the report. It made me think.
It was then that I came up with the Einsteinian idea: Hey, manuals may be more fun but they’re also safer.
With automatic transmission, the lazy driver doesn’t have to worry about shifting. This driver is more disengaged from the act of steering and operating his vehicle safely. You can pick up the cellphone and chit-chat with friends or the kids or close a business deal. You always have a trouble-seeking free hand with automatics.
Try steering a manual transmission and talking on a mobile phone. It takes a contortionist to do it. The driver of a manual constantly fidgets with the gear shift. Like old McDonald’s Farm. An upshift here, a downshift there, everywhere a shift, shift . . . . Often this driver has the left hand on the steering wheel, the right on the gear knob. Such drivers I believe are more atune with the operation of their vehicle. They even look at the tach once in a while. And it keeps most sane people away from the phone. Using one leg to steer, or the chin, is no option.
Be a part of this movement to ban the automatic. Get in on the ground floor. Write your Congressman today. In this present political environment of felicity and cooperation along with indifference to all corporate matters and lobbyists, the Shifting Gears campaign can work.