Whether you love them or hate them, use them regularly or rarely drive or you don’t drive, you have to confess, your car plays an important role in your life, and you admit that you cannot even begin to imagine a world without cars.
A paramount success story of the 20th century is the car revolution. The auto industry steadily improvising, accommodating and constantly changing and thrusting forward fueled by human intelligence is a revelation. As compared to the cars of the past, present day vehicles are built to last long, offer better mileage, is environment conscious and offers a comfortable ride. A large chunk of the population today depends essentially and entirely on automobiles.
Shifting - Adapting Human Mindsets
Cars are definitely practical and they are useful to go anywhere, anytime as you desire. It was the American automaker Ford who started the trend of selling affordably priced cars. This boosted the popularity of cars. It all happened so quickly– reasonably priced cars were accessible not just to the affluent but many sections of people could afford it. Cars paved the way forward, gave wheels to the speed of life - it allowed us to move around at will, faster and in an easier manner.
The liberty to move around freely just about anywhere gave way to a lot more changes. As transport was available, people chose to settle down in beautiful environs, farther away from their workplace, families etc. The distance created a boom in commerce. Things, products, and produce were available right at your doorstep where you resided.
After the arrival of cars, the world suddenly seemed a smaller place – because you had the freedom to travel to your choice destination at your time and convenience. And not to miss, it was quick, fast, and easy too. No place was uncharted territory anymore. Every place seemed reachable. Be it cities, lakes, rivers, forests, deserts, and even hills and mountains. What at one time seemed like an uncharted territory was now open to all.
A Change for Better or Worse
It is true; we move faster, cover longer distances and inaccessible places and resources are now easily reached. But are all this for the better or worse?
To begin with, let’s see its downsides:
- Today, there is an ongoing demand for vehicles and engineers are striving to design eco-friendly cars so as to sustain and protect the environment. As increased production can in turn, harm the planet.
- To sustain our need and hunger for vehicles, the infrastructure in terms of newer roads, petrol bunks, parking lots and manufacturing units are required.
- Added to this, cars lead to more oil exploration and there is pressure to discover oilfields or basins.
- To make cars lightweight, plastic is used which makes it all the more difficult to recycle at the end of its lifecycle.
- Apart from the environment, human life is at risk too. Walking nowadays is literally unheard of, which is a major cause for obesity.
- Sidewalks are reduced in order to widen roads and accommodate more vehicles.
- Clogged roads, traffic jams in cities are a common sight. Getting from Point A to B is more time-consuming than before when cars were fewer and rare.
Cars- Smoke- And Health Problems
- Cars are a major cause for water and air pollution. Over a third of global greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation. The pollution caused by vehicles causes several deaths.
- Vehicles release fumes and smoke which is also a health hazard. Therefore, more the vehicles, more hazards.
- Annually, accidents, hit and run deaths by cars are on the increase.
- Ecosystems are being ravaged and noise pollution scares away animals from their natural environment and eventually endangering many species.
- Animals and humans are equally affected by noise; causing hearing loss, headaches, and repetitive stress syndromes when exposed to it repetitively.
- Harmful gases released from vehicles like carbon monoxide, ozone, carbon dioxide, benzene etc. causes harm to humans, plants, and animals alike.
Every story has a downside and an upside. Some positives of cars being in your reach are:
- The dependence on haywire schedules of public transport has reduced and now people can shop, work, and do other things at their own leisure and pace.
- Women feel safer while travelling in cars alone and students or young adults no longer need to depend on parents or public transport to attend school, work, or extracurricular activities.
- There is increased flexibility in getting anywhere, getting anything and at anytime.
- During a medical emergency, sometimes taking the car out is much quicker option.
- Cars have positively impacted economy wherein it has helped create more jobs.
Your Take Home Message
The effect of automobiles on everyday life has been the topic of several debates. On the one hand, cars represented a revolution in flexibility, movement, and convenience. It gave individuals the freedom of choice. To engage in activities at a time you chose to and do things at your own pace and time. But revving into the present, there are glaring downsides hand-in-hand with the upsides. Health and life are taking a toll owing to lethargic outcomes, emissions, pollution, and accidents.As they say, every coin has two faces. Finally, it’s your personal take and opinion.