Submitted by Michelle Klein
Ever since Carl Benz made the first automobile in 1885, cars have changed an extraordinary amount and have altered the way we live our lives. The invention of cars presented people with an easier mode of transportation, which greatly increased the efficiency in which people could travel. Today, cars have an essential role in society, as most people depend on them for daily tasks. The rapid rate that modes of transportation continue to change is astounding and provides a glimpse of what the future has in store.
Before the invention of the automobile, people were forced to travel long distances by foot, horse, or boat. There were very few working roads or highways, which made the land much harder to traverse. The environment was very unforgiving, and it was not uncommon for someone to die during a long journey as a result. Hypothermia, scurvy, and rabies could plague those traveling by land or sea, rendering people sick or killing them. Going on a trip took an extraordinary amount of time, and was a very involved, rigorous ordeal. These hardships turned people off from traveling, and most people in early America hardly left their hometown, if ever. Once Henry Ford popularized the automobile in America in around 1910, however, transportation was never the same.
While other automobiles were available at the time, they were very expensive and functioned poorly on dirt roads. The Model T’s affordability and dependability made it accessible to the general public. This new, widespread mode of transport was revolutionary, as it made traveling much easier and less of a hassle. The car created the need for new, paved roads and highways that were driveable. These new roads allowed people to travel with much more speed and grace, and made traveling much more enjoyable and effective. Highways served to better connect different locations, and places became more accessible. This new way of getting around almost entirely eradicated the need for uncomfortable and maintenance-heavy horses and carriages. Since horses are animals, they can only work for a finite amount of time before they need a break, and require food, water, and constant grooming and care. As a machine does not need nearly as much upkeep and can drive for as long as it has fuel, people naturally gravitated more towards cars. Though the Model T is quite different from the cars we see today, it still paved the road for their intense popularity and usage.
The sound of cars whizzing by on a street or of a motor turning on is anything but alien in today’s society. Cars are extremely prevalent in our society, and we heavily rely on them in order to live our lives. From delivering pizzas to storing luggage, the automobile is truly a staple in our country and is an extremely versatile machine. There are almost 264 million cars in America, which is an extraordinary number, but it makes sense. The entire country is connected by a network of highways, which allows us to drive to anywhere we want within the United States. Almost every driveway is inhabited by one or two cars, with families relying on them for transportation to a myriad of places. Commuting to and from work would be very hard without cars, as with a car, you can choose whenever you want to leave and transport whatever you need. A driver’s license is a very coveted possession to have, and most teenagers scramble to earn one as soon as possible, as being able to drive signifies the freedom to drive potentially anywhere in the country. Road trips are a very fun and exciting way to travel, as you can drive from coast to coast while experiencing many different environments, and provides some bonding time with your companions as well.
People also depend on cars for their jobs, as there are many industries that revolve around dealing with them. Cars or trucks make carrying couches or sports equipment from one place to another easier, as you can put whatever you need in the backseat or the trunk, then drive wherever your heart desires. Some professions rely solely on cars, such as truck drivers whose job it is to drive goods, such as food and lumber, from one place to another. Taxis and different companies can come and pick you up wherever you are, and can take you wherever you need to go, which remove the stresses of finding parking or eliminate the need for drunk driving after a party. Car salesmen make their living selling cars to people, and there are countless brands of cars that are sold, manufactured all over the world, such as in America, Japan and Germany, to name a few. Amazing companies such as A-1 Auto Transport helps us to ship cars to where we need them, if that is in the U.S. or worldwide. This enables anyone to bring their car with them while moving long distances, such as across the country, or even internationally. Anything from snowmobiles to mobile homes can be shipped, which is definitely incredibly helpful for many people, as cars and such are very integral staples for our way of life. Being able to have these items shipped is very helpful, as it takes away part of the stress from leaving home and going somewhere new. Our entire country would look and function much differently without cars, as we rely on them and essentially have shaped our world around them.
The technology that cars offer has been altered immensely since that first Model T, and will continue to have incredible breakthroughs in the future. GPS has been available in cars for quite a while, but touchscreens and connections to phones are now offered as well. Driving in a car can be a luxury experience, with spacious, leather seats and a sleek, stylized exterior. A car has even been shipped to space. Electric cars are becoming more popular, which is greatly helping the environment, as they eliminate the need for gases and other natural gases, and decrease the carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere. In the future, the majority of people will hopefully shift to electric cars, which would help the environment as a whole. Automated cars may make a huge difference in travel, and some are being tested currently. The idea of being driven by a machine with no human input may be frightening, but may increase overall safety and decrease the number of accidents that occur. Whenever future societies are depicted, you can spot the biggest difference in the cars, which can usually fly around and look very futuristic. The fact that we think of a difference in cars as signifying a different era tells us a lot about how intrinsically they affect our culture and the way in which we view the world. As we continue to move forward, cars will continue to evolve with us, and will probably become larger, safer, and more enjoyable. At their core though, cars will always make transportation a lot more accessible for all people and make traveling into an enjoyable experience.
Cars are definitely an incredibly useful commodity and an intrinsic part of our society. They can personalize the act of transportation and can be used to go wherever you need to. It would be difficult to go a day without spotting one, as cars are almost everywhere you look. Ever since they were first popularized in America, cars have served a key role for millions of citizens in the U.S. and all over the world, and we would function much less effective without them.
Submitted by Michelle Klein
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