Automatic transmissions have been eclipsing their older manual cousins for the past few years. Yet, despite their apparent popularity, automatic transmissions are not necessarily a better choice for many drivers. However, they do offer advantages over manual transmissions in several key areas. For example, they are…
- Easier to use – Although there's nothing inherently difficult about shifting gears and working a clutch, it still takes a bit of practice before most drivers are comfortable learning to use each of their limbs independently in order to control a manual transmission vehicle. Automatic transmissions, by comparison, are much simpler and take drivers significantly less time to learn.
- Less manually restrictive – Most new drivers are taught that the safest way to drive is to keep both hands firmly on the wheel at all times. This is possible when driving an automatic transmission vehicle, but is not possible with a manual transmission.
- Better for hilly areas – If you're a less experienced driver, you may find that navigating steep inclines in a manual transmission is difficult, especially if you're attempting to do so from a dead stop. Automatic transmissions take care of this issue, enabling your car to operate efficiently no matter how steep the hill might be.
- Greatly reduced risk of stalling – There are few things more embarrassing and awkward than accidentally stalling your vehicle right when the traffic light changes. This isn't a common problem for those driving automatic transmission, where stalling will only occur if there's a mechanical problem in the vehicle.
- Easier to use in heavy traffic – Overall, more work goes into starting, accelerating, decelerating, and stopping manual transmissions. This isn't normally a problem, but in heavy traffic where a car isn't able to get up to speed, drivers may notice that the constant starting and stopping becomes a difficult chore. Automatic transmissions allow the driver to move through heavy traffic without having to do more than push a single pedal.
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