Solution to Teen Distracted Driving: Get a Manual Transmission

If you want to discourage your teenager from texting while driving, make him or her drive a car with a manual transmission. A driver who has to work the gearshift constantly must stay focused. Seattle's NBC News affiliate describes how one local family uses this approach:

Riley's parents took notice of all those messages about the risks of using a phone while driving - too many sad stories. And while they trust their son, they're not taking any chances. 

Riley has a smart phone, but when he gets in the car, it goes into a compartment. Blue Tooth?  That might come later. But the car forces Riley to keep one hand on the wheel, and the other on the stick, especially in city traffic. 

Link -via Jalopnik

(Photo: cmonville)

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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I hope this push for manual does take off. In addition to reducing texting while driving, it might also introduce more people to how enjoyable it is to actually operate a vehicle, to enjoy driving rather than just seeing it as a way to get from Point A to Point B.
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My kids want to learn to drive a stick shift. But our manual truck died, and a decent affordable used car with a stick shift is very hard to find these days. In all honesty, I'd rather have a 30-40 year old car anyway because you can repair them at home. Too bad those are considered "antique."
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