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Car Addiction: Are we all Car Addicts?

In the next words we will try to make a study about the car addiction in particular. Some say it is good, some say it is bad and many don’t even see it. In any domain you could think at, you will find addicts that devote themselves to satisfying some personal desire. We have some “Good” addicts, such as  drawing, music and other arts addicts. We believe they are  harmless, and we often ignore them or don’t observe them in real life.

On the other hand, the “Bad” addicts are those who hurt others to feed their habit, who become obsessed of getting more and more and will do anything just to finish a collection for example. Society often prosecutes them, unless their addiction is automobiles. Even if the prices for cars, parts, gas, taxes and so one have grown, auto addicts appear more and more on the streets.  And, while a few cars are thrilling to drive and a few are beautiful, in the big cities cars generally bring danger, pollution and ugliness.

Are you a car addict?

But car addicts don’t seem to care about the effects of their addiction. They are too happy that their car gives them an identity, maybe compensates for some other things, brings girls, fills the adrenaline or takes them everywhere they want to go whenever they wish to go there. Since the addicts are occupied in living the way of life their addiction prescribes, we must indicate how we all pay for their addiction. Some say the first place that auto addicts hurt us is the pocketbook.

Cars are expensive, and consume money that would otherwise be spent on something of more lasting value. If you think about it, cars with prices bigger than $50,000 are as common as hungry children. But this is a very special example, as most of the money we spend could make a big difference in other parts of the globe.

Man loves his car
Auto addiction reduces the quality of life. Urban streets are ugly, parking lots are ugly. Automobiles offend all our senses: fumes stink, cars pollute the air, engines are noisy. Inner-city residents must either fight to protect their neighborhoods or put up with danger, pollution, noise, and unsightliness. As the pollution grows in any segment, we help it by cutting down trees, and in very many places of the city you can again feel like you are living in the “Stone Age”. Even the auto addicts lose here because commuting is both stressful and isolating.

Alone in their cars, they stop the encounters with friends, neighbors or even simple people in the bus. These connections are vital to personal and social well-being. Car addiction is a tough problem to solve because the addicts won’t accept responsibility. A part of being an addict is to make others responsible  for the painful results of your habit. When all these car freaks exercise their addiction during rush hour, they often create a traffic Car Addictjam. But who do they blame for the jam? Not themselves; not other addicts. They blame the city or unyielding communities.
One type of auto addicts is the one that usually lives far from the office.

These car addicts don’t have access for public transportation or maybe choose not to share a vehicle with some other persons, and they require the construction of expensive highways. Therefore, the auto dependence spreads out the city and increases infrastructure cost, valuable land becomes parking lots, and its value decreases, etc.
Our perfectly good downtown deteriorates as the auto addicts drive to suburban malls. “No free parking downtown,” they complain.
To them, “free” means “free to me.” Auto addicts do not recognize that someone pays for “free” parking. And “free” roads, too. In his unnecessarily big and expensive car, the auto addict commutes for hours every week. But, commuting is inefficient and unproductive. It costs the commuter, the commuter’s family, and society. Car addicts refuse to accept that the traffic problem comes from too many cars, not from inadequate roads. So, we cannot expect the addict to voluntarily cure his or her addiction.

How to deal with car addicts

So what do we do? We raise the taxes for car addicts so they pay for their addiction. We increase gasoline prices and invent registration fees on the size of the car being registered or place paid parking. We could make our streets more attractive to those who now just drive on by, improve our public transportation system and be more innovative in improving its quality and convenience.

But why do it, when you can make such a huge profit from car addicts? And yet, we must act because a city with car addicts is not sustainable. Sooner or later, auto addiction will end because of its costs, its inefficiency, and the ugliness it creates. If we all begin to take some measures, we will have a more livable city now and in the future.

Auto Addicts

We will get back to this subject with an article from the other perspective. Many of our readers are not the usual workaholics that end up stuck in the traffic jams. They are the guys that love their car from a different angle, that drive it with passion on the open roads, modify it under the hood and race legally on not, with their friends every night!

Some fragments by Jason Montgomery (retired professor of human ecology)

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