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Automatic or Manual. Which is safer?

Auto or Manual?You might feel that stepping into your car and heading out into the traffic is taking your life in your hands. The media constantly reminds us that some people are consumed by that phenomenon known as ‘road rage’, while others drive dangerously due to drugs or alcohol – or just plain stupidity, it seems.

While studies show that young drivers are at the most risk of accidents, not much has been mentioned about the kind of transmission their car has, or if it plays a part in accidents.

For those who don’t want a 4WD with a bull-bar to help ensure their safety in an accident, let’s think about the ordinary family sedan….. manual or automatic transmission. Is one really safer than the other?

In a recent study completed by several organisations in Sweden and Australia, it was found that older people are more at risk of having an accident if they were driving a man-ual car.

This is because age impairs cognitive ability and so these drivers found it more challeng-ing to do several things at once, especially:
• changing gears
• putting on the blinker
• watching for traffic
• watching traffic lights
• braking, and
• acceleration

In an automatic car the driver has much less work to do, with no gear changes, and so they have less to think about at times when they could be most at risk. This enhances their safety.

What about Younger Drivers?

The more accident-prone age group of under-25s was excluded from the study. Rather, the so-called ‘younger group’ were in their late twenties to their late forties, with the older group between 70 and 90 year of age. It was found that the younger group had no trouble in either type of vehicle, hence they were deemed the ‘safer’ drivers.

However, purists may argue that the manual car is safer for other reasons. Some say they feel more at one with the manual vehicle and have more control over it. Others feel that because there is less to do in an automatic they get bored and tend to fiddle with other things, such as the radio, making their driving less than safe.

Sometimes it depends on where and how you drive. High traffic areas will usually be more dangerous, but empty roads tempt drivers to go faster than is safe. The best way to stay safe no matter what kind of car you drive, or how old you are, is to practise being a good driver and display courtesy on the roads.

No matter what kind of car you drive, or your age, you will need the essential CTP green slip. Drivers in NSW have the freedom to choose their CTP Green Slip insurer, and compare prices. Here at greenslips.com.au we’ve made this so easy by providing you with an easy-to-use Green Slip Calculator – try it now to find the best deal on your CTP insurance.