Addicted to Our Cars: Can We Break the Habit?

Credit: epSos.de Via Creative Commons

Top Five Signs That You Might Be Addicted to Your Car

5. You talk to your car. This includes using expletives.

4. You drive your car to visit your neighbor who lives next door.

3. You love sitting in traffic jams. It gives you more time with your car.

2. Your car has a name.

1. You have seriously considered installing a bathroom in your car.

Ha! Ha! Now for the post………

In this day and age, cars are a way of life for most of us. We use our cars for getting to work, the store and for leisure activities. Most people would agree that their car is essential to “survival” in this modern world that we live in. In other words, our cars make our lives more comfortable. We can get places faster and easier. Besides, drive-thru windows would be nonexistent if it wasn’t for our cars. Nowadays, people no longer have to get out of their cars to pick up fast food. Isn’t that pure heaven? Truly, the drive-thru is the essence of convenience.

We have become dependent on our cars for all sorts of things. After all, why walk or ride bicycles when we can cruise along in our cars? The “suburban lifestyle” is more than the American dream realized. Suburban living epitomizes the laidback lifestyle. And whether we drive a sports car, family sedan, or sport utility vehicle, it’s sure to exude convenience without even starting the engine. Plus, lots of extra luxuries come along with that shiny new car. Where else can people crank the music up to decibels that vibrate an entire neighborhood? Not exactly a way to connect with your neighbors in a meaningful way, but I bet they know exactly who you are!

It’s not like there isn’t any consequences to living a life on easy street. Obesity is becoming the “new norm.” Of course, there are lots of health issues that come right along with that. I don’t need to list them all here, but my point is, we are becoming a society that is no longer interested in the “quality of progression.” Simply put, we are progressing in a way that makes us “lazy.”

I think that we can agree that most all of us depend on our cars for a means of transportation. This varies to some extent depending on location. Some people rely on public transportation for getting around. At any rate, is it possible that we have become too dependent on our cars? Do we rely on our cars too much? Have we become addicted to our cars?

Our dependency on our cars doesn’t necessarily mean that we need to give up driving altogether. That’s probably not a practical solution for everyone. Yet, that doesn’t mean we can no longer walk or ride our bike like we did when we were kids. If we live close enough to work, why not ride our bikes on nice days (or not so nice days)? For those of you who are retired, why not enjoy a leisurely walk or bike ride? It’s great for our health and good for the environment. Likewise, there is always the gym as a way of getting exercise. However, for me personally, there is nothing like being outside and connecting with nature while I exercise. I love the fresh air! And living here in Florida, there is nothing like the aroma of fresh orange blossoms during an evening stroll or bike ride. Pure bliss at its finest.

My Pink Cruiser on the Beach

A Bike Path by the Waterfront

Interestingly enough, many cities and small towns are not bike or pedestrian friendly. Moreover, there are not enough “bike paths” to support a bike friendly community. That being said, this is slowly starting to change. Some communities are making significant strides by creating more bike paths that expand from suburbia to downtown. This means that riding our bike can be a viable form of transportation for getting to work. Designated bike paths provide a safer alternative. In addition, they help create a bicycle friendly community that everyone can enjoy.

It’s not like we all need to be professional athletes to enjoy a bike ride, or to take a leisurely walk. It can be very invigorating for anyone at any age. It’s a great way to get exercise, bond with family, or as a means of transportation. Plus, I’ve met many of my neighbors this way. Also, it is a wonderful way to connect with nature. One of my favorite reasons for biking or walking is that it’s kind to the environment. Zero emissions!! Isn’t that a nice incentive?

My Bike and "Me" at the Pier

So, have you considered a bike ride lately? Any bike will do. It doesn’t have to be an expensive bike. And if not a bike ride, why not a relaxing stroll among nature? It is a wonderful way to naturally lower stress, connect with our spirit and with each other. Besides, it gives us a reason to get out of our car.

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About wordswithpurpose

Compassion motivates and inspires me. Whether it’s compassion for animals, the environment, or people–I embrace it. I try to live a compassionate life each and everyday. It gives me purpose.
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16 Responses to Addicted to Our Cars: Can We Break the Habit?

  1. barb19 says:

    I am in full agreement with you – we rely far too much on our cars these days, and as a result, we are getting extremely lazy and unfit.
    Since my husband and I retired, we try to only use the car when we go into town to do the grocery shopping. We both have bikes, and try to get out five times a week for a bike ride round the neighbourhood. We also have a dog, so we both benefit when we take her for a walk down to the beach! We are getting very fit – and losing those extra pounds!

    • Thanks for the comment. I think that’s great Barb! Biking can be such a fun way to stay fit. And it’s extra special to have someone to share the fun with. I love the carefree bike rides and walks with my hubby too. Also, I think it’s awesome that you get to share your walks with your dog! Are most of your beaches “pet friendly” there in Australia? There are some designated areas here in Florida, but not too many where I live.

  2. I’m not addicted to my car yet. I consider it as a must to go to work and to any distant places. Whenever I have the chance, I’d rather walk. The bike sounds like a great idea, the awesome views is a bonus on top of the health benefits. The traffic pic looks like Houston on rush hours. great post.

    • That’s good to hear that you’re not addicted to your car yet! And for most of us, it’s not practical to give up our cars entirely. By the way, I have traveled through Houston before via car and train, and the traffic was pretty horrendous. I bet that people there spend lots of time in their cars. I’m sure that the city has lots to offer though, so it makes up for all the time spent commuting to work. I appreciate your comment! 🙂

  3. I agree with you completely on how people are so dependent on their cars nowadays. In a city like Chicago the traffic is horrendous and owning a car is expensive. A girl friend of mine who recently moved here ended up shipping her car back home because of the inconvenience.

    Hubby and I usually just walk everywhere and only use the car when we have to go to the airport, grocery store, or to the other side of town…which we rarely go to because of traffic.

    I really like your bike! I have been considering purchasing one but haven’t had the chance to. I love bike riding, it was my most favorite activity as a kid!

    • It’s nice to be able to walk everywhere! That’s definitely one of the advantages to living in the city. I have a friend who lived in Chicago while she attended Northwestern. She absolutely loved the city and walked everywhere. That’s what I love about New York too. It is very pedestrian friendly. Besides, as you said, owning a car in the city can be very expensive. It’s not always practical to have a car in the city. It is nice though to have it for longer trips. Here in Florida, things are more spread out. It doesn’t mean that we can’t still bike or walk. The beach cruiser does come in handy down here. The topography is pretty flat here! I’m not exactly going to win the Tour de France on my beach cruiser, but it sure is fun (and eco-friendly)! Thanks for the kind words. I always appreciate your comments. 🙂

  4. Rebekah says:

    I’m not addicted to the car either. I come from a small town in Sweden, where nothing is farther away than that you can walk. Then I moved, first to Quebec City, and saw traffic like in the top picture, every rush hour and the buses were empty. Do people really prefer to sit in their cars like that for hours, one wonders sometimes?! I’m not against cars, but some moderation could be good.

    • Wow! I’ve never been to Sweden, but I would love to go one day. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about it. It’s nice to be able to walk to everything, and not depend on our cars so much. As for Quebec City, it has always been on my list to visit. When I was a teenager, we went to Canada for a family vacation (and loved it), but we never quite made it to Quebec City. I just love the quaint feel that I see in photos. Also, I have always wanted to go to the “Quebec Winter Carnival.” I love the beautiful ice sculptures. Anyway, I guess that Quebec City has its share of traffic problems like most cities do. For me personally, I prefer to explore the various cities via “walking” whenever possible. At any rate, it must be a refreshingly slower pace where you are living now! Thanks so much for your comment. By the way, it’s good to know that you are “not” addicted to your car! 🙂

  5. jakesprinter says:

    i Agree with you for good air environment solution nice story 🙂

    • Thanks Jake! I love to ride my bike and walk whenever possible. Zero emissions! Plus, it’s just great being outdoors. Have a fantastic weekend! I hope you get to spend some of it outdoors among nature. 🙂

  6. Happy to report that we’re not addicted to our car. 🙂 But we love and appreciate it! It’s eleven years old, still gets over 30-35 miles to a gallon, even around town, and we take good care of it. Lately we’ve been traveling by train – it’s so nice to relax and no have to worry about traffic jams. We can get to Washington, D.C. in 6 hours by train, where it used to take us up to 11 hours by car because of the traffic and pit stops… Tim works from home most days so we only use our modest little 2000 Toyota Echo for shopping and errands, which we try to consolidate into one trip.

    • That’s fantastic Barbara! I couldn’t picture you being addicted to your car. 🙂 Speaking of trains, I love to travel via train too! I’m actually from the DC area. I loved traveling from DC to New York via train. I miss that living here in Florida. I hope that train travel continues to expand. I think that it’s a great way to get around. I wish we were a bit more receptive to train travel here in the US. It would be nice to upgrade our infrastructure. That being said, I doubt that we will be like Europe anytime soon. Ha! Ha! By the way, I’ve been keeping my eye on those electric cars. I hope that they continue to improve the battery technology. I’d love to bypass the gas station altogether! Anyway, thanks again Barbara for your comment. I appreciate it. 🙂

  7. Sony Fugaban says:

    Thank God I only have toy cars … 🙂

  8. Sony Fugaban says:

    I missed my bike, which I left at home in the province.

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