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Automobiles: Benefits and Threats to Society Essay

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Updated: Jun 25th, 2020

Ever since the wheel was invented the humans received a very powerful tool that both literally and figuratively stimulated our society to move forward. Transportation today is a crucial aspect of our lives, which affects immensely such spheres as economy, politics, production, communications and consumption. Automobiles are one of the most popular modes of transportation in the contemporary world. The majority of the modern individuals cannot imagine their lives without transportation or travelling by means of automobiles. It goes without saying that automobiles carry a large number of benefits for the human society, but at the same time this technology is also the source of some negative influences on the society and the world in general.

Among the main advantages brought by the automobiles to our life is the ability of humans to affect their natural environments. First of all, people can easily change their environments by moving from one place to another. Besides, automobiles significantly speed up the process of moving around, so if an individual lives far away from their workplace or some other destination point, an automobile can help to change that issue. Due to automobiles many places that used to be deemed hard to reach are now accessible and populated. One very important influence of modes of transportation such as automobiles is their stimulation of the process of globalization. Vehicles of various sizes and kinds deliver goods and carry people making travelling and trades faster and more advanced, this strengthens the world’s economies and at the same time provides high rates of people and capital movements and migration. In the earlier times, the process of import of goods from abroad could take months and was highly dangerous because the vehicles carrying the goods were often monitored and attacked by pirates and bandits, besides, they were not resistant towards sudden weather changes or happenings such as hurricanes, heavy rains, extreme low temperatures. The modern vehicles are not only resistant to various kinds of weather, they are also much faster, which makes them not easy targets for the robbers, and they are able to protect the goods they carry from getting spoiled or damaged.

One of the negative impacts of vehicles is that they provide their leisure class owners with an ability to walk less, this may increase the rates of obesity or heart diseases in the society. It is a well known fact that cars negatively affect the environment producing greenhouse gases, ozone depletion, creating noise and reducing water and air quality (Impact of Cars on the Environment 2014). A running car engine produces several types of gases harmful for the environment, among then there are carbon dioxide, emissions known as carcinogens, nitrogen and sulfur oxides, these gases destroy our atmosphere (King 2014). Smog produced by cars contains carbon monoxide and harms human health. Fluids such as antifreeze, gasoline, oil, windshield-wiper fluids and refrigerants are also toxic for people and animals. Besides, fuel for the vehicles for various kinds occurs from the extraction of natural resources of our planet, which are limited.

In the twentieth century the automobile industry significantly influenced some of the aspects of the American society. For example, automobiles altered the understanding of labor and jobs. As the cars started to be produced “for the great multitude” the degradation of work occurred, because car building structure and process started to hire many people for simpler monotonous occupations (Meyer 2004). Yet the appearance of easily accessible automobiles in the society immensely changed the employees’ productivity, for example, any delivery or transportation business today is based only on the work of cars, without them the productivity of such companies would drop to zero.

The introduction of automobiles to the human society caused some ethical social issues. For example, as soon as the first cars appeared on the market, they immediately became luxury goods and demonstrations of the financial and social status of their owners (Vercillo 2014). Today, many cars are bought not only for their practical qualities, but for the concept they represent and for prestige. Some of the most expensive cars produced these days such as Bugatti or Lamborghini have very little practical use; they are purchased by the celebrities and rich people because of their trendy appearances. Many wealthy individuals are even known to collect cars or have a big variety of expensive and outstanding items in their garages. Privatization of transportation modes in the society caused the rapid growth of the gap between the rich and the poor and resulted in more severe social division into classes. The modern society is often divided into people that can afford a car and people that cannot afford a car.

All in all, the automobile technology changed the human society significantly, it introduced us to faster and safer ways of travelling, it provided delivery of goods for trading, it made moving around easier, it speeded up the work processes of many industries, and it affected social and economic aspects of the world’s society.

Reference List

Impact of Cars on the Environment 2014, RACV, Web.

King, J. 2014, Web.

Meyer, S. 2004, The Degradation of Work Revisited: Workers and Technology in the American Auto Industry, 1900-2000, Web.

Vercillo, K. 2014, Web.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Automobiles: Benefits and Threats to Society." June 25, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/automobiles-benefits-and-threats-to-society/.


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