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Salon columnist asks, "Is it ethical to drive stick?"

Posted May 15th 2012 7:30PM

Manual transmission

Just don't answer. The question is neither relevant, nor is it even the crux of the column. Get past the clicky smelling headline, and what you have here is a combination of two news stories, one new and one old, both of which you've likely already come across.

We're going to play nice here and not knock over Salon columnist David Sirota's house of cards, because this is a good read and he's a talented writer – even if, off the top of our heads, we can name several popular vehicles that offer a fuel economy benefit to those willing to row their own, from the Volkswagen Jetta to the Chevrolet Sonic to the BMW 3 Series. But the guy does have a point that's probably of great benefit to many Salon readers: If a smug sense of superiority is what you're after, opting for a manual transmission is no longer a sure bet. (Locally sourced organic produce and craft beer, for the win!)

In the end, Sirota is smart enough to come to two conclusions that most of us would agree to. The first being that driving a manual is fun, and the second, that it's hard to text while steering, operating all three pedals, and working that stick.

On second thought, maybe you should answer with a simple 'yes' or 'no'. See below for our completely unscientific poll.

Is it unethical to choose a less efficient transmission just for driving enjoyment?
Yes287 (27.6%)
No725 (69.6%)
I'm not sure29 (2.8%)

News Source: Salon

Image Credit: Copyright 2012 Jeff Sabatini / AOL


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My manual transmission compact car still takes a lot less gas then a huge SUV.

May 17 2012 at 6:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Glenn Laycock

Now people can add using a stick shift as a form of distracted driving .. one hand off the wheel, driving worrying about what gear they are in or going to use .. etc etc.

As silly as cellphones .. it is the driver risk level. Stick shift makes people more energized and engaged, so the higher risk level is being "handled". Any .. keep blaming cellphones and not the people even though every stat shows cellphones are not the cause (take them away and the drivers still drive poorly).

May 16 2012 at 4:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply