How has the automobile been harmful to our society

Posted: October 17th, 2013







The automobile is considered one of man’s greatest inventions only second after the invention of fire. The first automobile was invented in the year 1810. The first cars were of course very costly in comparison to their unreliability. This was however, improved after intense research and innovation. Currently, the prices of automobiles have grown considerably fair in comparison to their quality. The machine has been adopted worldwide as the most convenient means of transport over land. This is attributed to the numerous benefits that accompany the machine. Automobiles take minimal time to travel from one place to another, are very efficient, are easy to maneuver and are cost friendly. However, this beautiful invention is plagued by a myriad of harmful impacts to humanity. Although the invention was very safe and had many advantages when utilized with caution, it is still plagued by many adverse effects to humankind including injuries and death.

Harmful effects

The automobile is blamed for over a million deaths a year. This is higher than any terminal disease. This statistic is in itself ironic because the greatest killer of humankind is manmade as opposed to other natural causes like cancer or earthquakes. Statistics and research support the fact that automobiles are to be blamed for most of the deaths all over the world. When a single invention takes thousands of deaths a year worldwide, it definitely cannot be considered as a very safe or beneficial invention. Statistics indicate that in the United States of America alone, there were one hundred and fifty thousand deaths caused by this piece of machinery in the past year alone. This factor is compounded by an estimated three million casualties in the same year in America alone. From an invention considered as the greatest yet by man, it has turned to be an object of death (Wolfgang, 45).

This is further compounded by other harmful aspects of the machine such as damage to the fragile environment and whole ecosystems. The machine emits poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide. The automobile is responsible for the emission of many harmful gases one of them being carbon monoxide. The gas is colorless, odorless and tasteless hence it is hard to detect without proper instruments. This gas is considered the most unsafe of the world’s gases as opposed to how it seems safe. The gas pollutes the lungs leading to respiratory problems or even in some cases death; it also destroys the environment and whole ecosystems when released in considerable amounts. This gas is fatal when inhaled. The gas permanently damages the blood’s oxygen absorption mechanism leading to death. When the gas is released into the atmosphere, it combines with water molecules to make a harmful liquid known as sulphorous acid. When this acid combines with rainwater, it makes up acid rain, which is very corrosive and harmful to the environment. The recent past has seen the research and study of hybrid cars that do not produce carbon monoxide. This however has not been successful enough as the pollutants are still roaming the major cities of the world (Wolfgang, 45).


In conclusion, we find that the automobile is indeed plagued by many adverse effects to humanity and the environment despite its usefulness. The machine is responsible for most of deaths worldwide; it also has considerable effects to the environment and whole ecosystems. This results from the harmful carbon dioxide gases emitted by the machine. This aspect is further compounded by the increasing rates at which the machines are starting to fill the major towns and cities of the world. If its use is left unchecked, then the automobile could end up wiping out the entire human race.




















Works cited:

Wolfgang Sachs: For love of the automobile: looking back into the history of our desires, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010. Print.

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