Sometimes when I see the way automobiles zoom around on our streets and jostle one another on broad roads; I imagine a world without automobiles. In truth, many of us can’t even envision a world, where there are no vehicles to take people to their various destinations because of distance, writes ROTIMI ASHER
[dropcap]F[/dropcap]rom the days automobile began as cart pulled by horses to the manufacture of Model T by Henry Ford, which led to a revolution in the auto industry, until the 21st century, we have benefited from the evolution of automobiles.
Though, not much impact was made, when concept cars were being built in the late 18th century, with the invention of Ford Model T, transportation market witnessed a sudden change. Humans could travel long distance on the road anytime they wanted instead of trekking. Henry Ford did not only revolutionize the world, he also changed the face of the industry by creating assembly line, which has gone through continuous metamorphosis with the principle of having workers being assigned to a specific job, which resulted in production boom..
With the new freedom, due to availability of cars, humans do not need to live closer to one another or their work places any more. I remember, when I was in the village in the 70s, how we used to trek a distance of about 20km to the market. We had to wait several times on the road to rest. Sometimes, we slept till the next day before continuing our journey. It was really burdensome. But with construction of road linking our village to the same market, it will take just 30 minutes to reach the market. Automobile has actually increased the speed of humans and allows movement in an easier and faster way.
Since the inception of automobile, the world of commerce has exploded. You could travel a distance of 100 km to do business and come back to your base the same day You could eat apple, wherever you are without travelling to where it is harvested, order for a special bed or settee from neighbouring countries and have them delivered within three days. In other word, automobile has really increased and enhanced the world economy.
The emergence of automobiles has also led to construction of many good roads culminating in massive infrastructural development. Many cities, town and countries have been linked. This has also caused inter-relationship among countries. Not only that, business relationship among countries have improved considerably. For example, Nigerians travel to Ghana, Cote ovoire, Cameroon, Republic of Benin and other neighbouring countries by road to do business. Citizens of these countries also do the same. We see ourselves as brothers. Construction of roads has made us neighbours.
Unfortunately, whatever has advantages must also have disadvantages. This also applies to the impact of automobile on humans. It is positive and negative. Due to construction of roads, transportation has caused over a third of worldwide greenhouse emission. Air pollution is causing nearly 800,000 deaths every year. We do not need to mention that car-related accidents kill over 1.2 million people in the world annually.
The construction of roads is also destroying ecosystem and the noise pollution created by vehicles on these roads is chasing various animals away from their natural habitat thereby endangering their species.
What about traffic jams and hold-up as a result of increase in the number of vehicles on the roads. It is not easy moving from one place to the other. Movement can become so slow when there is traffic jam sometimes than it was before automobiles were invented.
But in spite of these disadvantages, the benefits of cars to our lives cannot be eroded. It has heavy benefits on our lives. Indeed, it has brought positive significant change to our society.
We cannot do without it. Not anymore.
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