We have all observed the call to use our vehicles less and turn to alternative modes of transportation, but this call falls on deaf ears among some people. North America, as well as other regions of the world, are experiencing the problem of vehicle overdependence, a condition in which people are too addicted to their cars. Vehicle overdependence occurs when a person consistently foregoes the option of walking, riding a bike or even using public transportation in order to drive their personal vehicle. The reason it is a problem is because it has been linked to health and environmental issues the world over.
Being too dependent on a car has been found to be a health detriment, both physically and mentally. It is obvious that overusing a vehicle will contribute to under-using of the body. Vehicles require little to no physical strength to operate. When people give in to their urge to drive instead of do physical work to get somewhere, they miss out on the cardiovascular and muscle building activity of walking or biking, damaging their physical health. It has also been found that developing a psychological dependence on a vehicle creates a condition similar to a substance or process addiction in which a person experiences feelings of anxiety and withdrawal when they are separated from their vehicle.
The other major reason that vehicle overdependence is a cause for concern is the effect it is having on the environment. Almost all vehicles burn fossil fuels in order to run, and the emissions they release into the atmosphere are among some of the most toxic pollutants that humans are responsible for. Greenhouse gases are created by vehicles and are thought to contribute to ozone layer destruction, air pollution and the greenhouse effect. The pollution of vehicles also deteriorates quality of life for living things, as air becomes more dirty to breathe and visibility of the sky is largely reduced.