Category Archives: driving

First Cars and Safe Driving

teen car safetyFirst-time car buyers are often first-time drivers as well. Many are teens buying their first car after gaining full driving privileges. Others are young adults who’ve never needed a car before, and never learned to drive until recently.

In each case, these people have followed the licensing requirements in their state and had the help of family, friends, or driving schools to get actual on-road driving experience. Finally, they took the required state tests and received their precious driver’s license.

Unfortunately, passing a driving test doesn’t mean that the state has certified a driver to be a safe driver. It simply means the driver knows fundamental traffic rules, can identify signs, knows laws of the road, and can handle basic driving skills. A new driver has only about 10% of the skills and experience he needs to be a safe competent driver.

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How to Drive a Manual Transmission Car

stickshiftOne of the questions we see pop up often from young drivers is “How to drive a stick shift (manual transmission) car?”

The question arises for a number of reasons. Some people who are driving for the first time know they’ll be driving a “stick shift” car and are concerned that it might be difficult to learn. Others who have been driving automatic transmissions for years may be looking to buy a manual shift vehicle for the first time.

Manual transmissions (often called “standard transmissions”) were around a long time before automatics. It wasn’t that long ago that most cars had manual shifts although now it’s the other way around.  Manual shift is popular with car enthusiasts who enjoy the feeling of greater control over the operation of their cars. Some car owners feel that a manual is more fuel-efficient and provides better performance, although that’s not necessarily so with today’s much improved automatics.

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