Q: On interstate, gear shift broke and stuck in first gear

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While accelerating on the interstate, I lost control of the car and did not have any gear shifting ability. It was stuck in first gear and fortunately I got off the interstate safely. I took the car to the mechanic where I learned that it had been the gear shift to the transmission that had broken and caused the failure. He said this was common in cars like mine. I have owned many manual transmissions previously, but have never had a gear shift to break before. It is not only dangerous, but frightening! What caused this to happen and how can I prevent it from ever happening again?

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