Tam highlights a post from someone who visited Europe, tried to rent a car, only to be told they didn’t have any “American transmissions.” It’s hard to find anyone born after 1980 that knows how to drive a manual. Kids these days. I suppose I don’t mind if they don’t know how to drive cars with manual gearboxes, as long as they stay the hell off my lawn.
I learned to drive on an old 1982 Datsun 720 pickup truck, because that’s what my dad drove. When I was rear ended in an accident right outside my high school, he replaced that car with a 1990 Nissan Sentra two door. It was literally four wheels and a steering wheel. I didn’t even have a tape deck. Both were manuals. I have actually never owned a car with an automatic transmission. I had to learn to drive these because that’s what my dad bought. Dad took the train to work, and didn’t have a need for a fancy car. That worked for me because I generally had use of it during the day. I don’t know at what point parents stopped teaching their kids to drive manuals, but it had to have been around 1980 or so.
If you want to be truly horrified at kids today, apparently one problem the auto industry is having is millennials just aren’t learning to drive. Now, if we had flying cars, I could accept this. We’d all be lamenting these damned kids, with their flying cars, zooming over the house all hours of the night. I could live with that. But no, they just aren’t interested. I couldn’t wait to get my license, so I could go places without having to beg mom, and more importantly, without having mom tagging along wherever I went. Cars represent independence from your parents, even if you’re driving around mom and dad’s old beater. It was this way for generations of Americans, except this one, apparently. Maybe this is the consequence of helicopter parenting.
UPDATE: I should note, just in case dad is reading, I smashed up the 1990 Sentra too. Not my fault. Hit and run driver on the onramp to the Schuylkill Expressway from 30th street in Philly. Car was un-drivable. I got the plates from the car that ran, and we had a cop we know run it… they were stolen tags. The risks of driving in Philly. But my dad would have been sure to remind me of this fact if I didn’t bring it up.
45 Responses to “Kids These Days”
- Helicopter Government | Shall Not Be Questioned - [...] helicopter parents mentioned in the post over teens who no longer desire the independence that comes with driving, this …
- SayUncle » American Transmission - [...] what Europeans call the automatic because Americans cannot drive them. Like others in my age group, I learned on …