Stick shifts slowing distracted teens

Stick shifts aren’t extinct — it just seems that way — and concerns over teen safety may be helping the manual transmission systems make a mini-comeback.

A Northern California TV station reports that some area parents are buying their teenagers vehicles with stick shifts in order to keep the kids’ hands off cell phones.

Sacramento News10 interviewed a 17-year-old who says that while many of her friends text and drive, “With a stick shift, I can’t really check my phone,” she said. Her parents bought her a Honda Civic.

Stick shifts have largely disappeared in the U.S., with about 5.5 percent of current sales, the report says. (In 1985, the percentage of stick shifts was about 23 percent.) Manual transmissions remain common overseas, however.

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