Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Vehicles are a form of transport that help us travel long distances in short amounts of time. Not only is travel faster but it is a good deal more comfortable than horse drawn carriages. Although cars are convenient, what price are we paying? Are cars becoming too much of a convenience? What are we sacrificing for the sake of this modern convenience?
It is obvious that use of cars is damaging our health. People are using cars to drive short distances that could be walked to in less than ten minutes. Bicycles and walking are becoming a thing of the past as more people look for the easiest ways to get around. Car seats, which are not meant to be sat in for long periods, cause neck, back and leg problems. The overuse of cars has also led to a rise in obesity. It is a documented fact that most obesity causes heart problems, diabetes and other major health issues. All of these problems could be avoided if people were more willing to walk or ride their bikes instead of driving down to the corner store.
These days almost every car has a navigation system in it. This can be helpful when driving long distances to places we've never been to. The down side to this is that we are losing our ability to find our way around by using the built in navigation system we have between our ears. We are losing the ability to remember street names and addresses. Why should we bother to remember if the GPS can do it for us? Eventually we will lose our sense of direction as well. Why would we need to know which way is east when our navigation system will tell us where to go? We will also lose the ability to read maps. We can retain our skills if we buy maps, relying on our minds, instead of relying on a GPS to tell us where to go. Unfortunately, many people have gotten into lazy thinking and are dependent on navigation systems.
Cars have been upgraded over the years, from stick shifts to automatics. People are losing coordination skills that were needed to drive the older stick shift models. There is talk of cars that will drive from one destination to another automatically eliminating the need for a person to even think about driving. So many things are automated in cars these days that people are losing driving skills. They are losing the ability to be more observant and pay attention to the road. There is no need to pay attention when the car does it for them.
The modern convenience of cars has also replaced safety. Power windows are not safe for children. Air bags have been known to smother people. Seat belts can sometimes pull tight enough to break ribs. People are so enamored of the automated systems in their cars that they sometimes take risks they might not ordinarily take, driving at higher and more dangerous speeds. Wi-Fi makes cars more prone to theft and security attacks which can shut vehicles down. That could be dangerous on a major freeway.
As we become more mentally and physically lazy, the dangers of cars rise. While it is true that technology can help us, it should not be used as an excuse to avoid exercising our minds and our bodies. Cars should be used as a tool that makes our lives easier but like any tool, it should not be used to excess.
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