The Benefits and Disadvantages of Automobiles


Automobiles (cars) use an internal combustion engine to power wheels that drive the vehicle. This is a very efficient means of transportation for the human body, but it can also harm the environment by producing air pollution and using up natural resources such as land.

Although the automobile was first invented in Europe in the late 1800s, it was Henry Ford who made the useful gadget available to the masses by developing mass production techniques. His Model Ts were affordable and easy to repair, and he helped many people get jobs in the new industry by putting them on his assembly line.

The automobile changed American life in other ways, too. It gave families the freedom to travel and encouraged many family vacations to pristine natural areas. Cities were able to expand and grow with new roads, industries and services like gas stations. And people in rural communities were able to rediscover the shopping options of towns and cities.

Having access to automobiles meant that women could work jobs outside the home and take part in leisure activities, such as family outings or visiting friends. This helped change social attitudes. In the 1910s and 1920s there was a movement for women’s rights to vote. Women drove around with “votes for women” banners to advocate for this right.

Of course, having the ability to drive a car quickly can save time on travel for going to work, shopping or visiting friends and family. But when too many cars are used in a small area, traffic jams can happen, and accidents and deaths occur. Government regulations were put in place to encourage safety features and licensing, as well as laws to control the use of roads and highways.