Home > General Discussion > Recent traffic change (for worse) near Rosslyn

Recent traffic change (for worse) near Rosslyn
  • Captain_Obvious May 2, 2013 - 3:33 pm #72001 Reply

    Anyway, what does all this have to do with automatics/manuals and car crashes/flipping vehicles where alcohol isn't a factor ?

    are you scared to answer?

    Dezlboy May 2, 2013 - 3:43 pm #72003 Reply

    I favor manual transmissions because the driver has to be more involved and can be more involved. First, to shift properly (not stall) the driver must pay more attention to cars, the road, stop lights, etc, because the driver has to anticipate when and how to shift. Second, the driver has more control over the car, speed of the engine, braking power of the engine, etc.  With an automatic one only gives the car fuel or brake. This enables drivers to pay less attention to the road, deal with more unanticipated incidents, then have less control (less mechanical options) to avoid accidents.

    FWIW: I can put my VW Golf into first or second gear and it will go forward forever without stepping on the accelerator. So, this part of the “drunk driver” advantage doesn’t fly.

    novasteve May 2, 2013 - 4:06 pm #72007 Reply

    I don’t see how your car doesn’t stall in first gear. In my parking garage I have to make a very conscious effort to keep my car from stalling without going above the speed limit. I heard that in the past VWs has weird clutchless manuals. Maybe it is some carryover. But my car will stall in first gear if I take my foot off the gas any any speed below say 8 mph.

    Sunshine May 2, 2013 - 4:16 pm #72011 Reply

    CO-    When you drive automatic, you have one free leg and one free hand, if you don’t have both hands on the wheel. With your one free leg, you can free up both hands if you drive with your knee. If you have a free hand, you are more likely to be doing something with it, which leads to distracted driving and more of a chance of getting into a crash. Around here, there is so much traffic, stop signs and red lights, that when you are driving a manual car you are usually involving all four limbs at the same time. There is nothing free so you are less likely to be doing anything other than driving. You are then paying more attention and are less likely to be involved in a crash. Can you somehow balance a phone or  something else on the steering wheel? Or maybe you are going fast enough that you don’t have your hand on the stick all of the time and you can be using your hand to do something? Sure. But you are less likely to do so in a manual car. It’s just harder and more awkward. My car will not go anywhere in any gear unless I hit the gas. Just putting it gear and holding the clutch down does not make it go.

    novasteve May 2, 2013 - 4:33 pm #72016 Reply

    Funny when I was in high school my grandmother had a dodge ares automatic that would fully accellerate without even needing to give it gas. I once got it up to 50 mph without ever having touched the gas pedal. Great american engineering.

    About the only movement a manual can do without hitting the gas is lurching. But that’s probably just inches.


    1234 May 2, 2013 - 4:49 pm #72020 Reply

    Because he's been a good boy lately. I don't mind one or two N-stevie trollfests every month. Keeps things interesting.

    You might but other folks don’t like the ranting and trolling.

    Sunshine May 2, 2013 - 4:57 pm #72022 Reply

    Don’t remind me of lurching. I taught my nephew how to drive manual—eventually. My brother could never get the coordination of driving manual but he wanted his son to learn. Well, he was a chip off the ole block and was just like my brother. He just could not get the hang of things. The foot-hand action just did not come naturally to him. But I was really patient and encouraging and eventually after lurching around parking lots for two weeks it finally just clicked with him and he got it. He got his license and drives a manual car.

    novasteve May 2, 2013 - 5:00 pm #72023 Reply

    What did you learn to drive stick on? I learned on a 1983 Camry and a 1985 Renault Alliance. combined those cars had 100 horsepower so it was probably easier to learn on something like that.

    JamesE May 2, 2013 - 5:40 pm #72026 Reply

    Easy not to stall if you have an engine with a nice powerful torque curve in a small light car.

    Captain_Obvious May 2, 2013 - 6:48 pm #72028 Reply

    @N S…you are the greatest question dodger ever.

    Anyway, what does all this have to do with automatics/manuals and car crashes/flipping vehicles where alcohol isn't a factor ?



    Sunshine May 2, 2013 - 8:53 pm #72030 Reply

    I learned on an early 80′s Volvo, a 70′s Subaru (not sure of the year of either one) and a 1961 Corvair sedan which was not manual but had some sort of lever thing that was manipulated in the dash. I actually took my drivers test in the Corvair in the 1980′s. I scraped over the curb backing up but I was passed since the car bumper sat so unusually low and the tester was pretty excited about being in a Corvair. But I had already been riding motorcycles and ATV’s long before that.

    Tom May 3, 2013 - 1:03 pm #72105 Reply


    Seems to me that the above article supports the claim that--regardless of how much more “involved” a manual transmission may seem--if you use one for a prolonged period of time, it’s likely that you’ll acclimate yourself and it will become something of an innate function. I’d agree with that. I’ve been stickshifting for just over a decade now, and I’m convinced I could do it in my sleep.

    (At the risk of inciting an ethically-themed flame war, I’ll admit that I’ve gotten behind the wheel of a 5-speed with a .23 BAC, or so the cops told me--which, for you kids scoring at home, is almost three times the legal limit. While I’m certainly not proud of what I did, I’m glad I was picked up because it taught me a lot about the dangers of momentary lapses in otherwise sound judgment. My point? Yes, I was blacked out, but I was capable of shifting enough to make it more than 10 miles down the road. I wasn’t pulled over for veering off the road or causing an accident--I was going 63 in a 50. At 0230 hours. Sounds stupid because it is. Don’t drive drunk. Trust me.)

    I realize I’m just feeding the trolls here, as auto/manual debate has little to do with why traffic has been so bad, but I wanted to offer my two cents. I can’t offer much insight as to the root cause, but I feel as though a discussion about the sensors that regulate the light cycles based on traffic volume would be FAR more appropriate than whether or not operator ineptitude is at play here.

    novasteve May 3, 2013 - 1:14 pm #72109 Reply

    Some people drink an entire bottle of vodka or whiskey in an evening. your BAC will be much higher than .23 BAC. Those people can still get into a car and attempt to drive. It will be MUCH much easier for them to do so in an automatic. All they have to do is be able to turn on the car and put the car in drive and they start moving. If they are so inebriated, much higher than .23 BAC which is very possible to do, they may not be able to drive a manual due to the coordination issues and would likely stall it out. I’m not talking borderline cases. I’m talking people who are completely sh!tfaced. People get that drunk and still drive unfortunately. It’s not even rare. But having an automatic makes it much easier for them to do so.

    Captain_Obvious May 3, 2013 - 1:28 pm #72111 Reply

    give it up already.  You just got a first-hand account from Tom.

    .23 is pretty S-faced, by the way.

    novasteve May 3, 2013 - 1:37 pm #72116 Reply

    If you drank an entire 750 ml bottle of booze you would be MUCH drunker than .23 BAC. People sometimes drink that much and get behind the wheel of a car. If you’d rather deny reality and pretend it doesn’t happen, then more power to you. I just pray I’m not on the road when they’re driving in an automatic.

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