We’re so used to the idea of drivers crashing into things, people, and animals that many headlines of such tragedies personify the vehicle, and in doing so erase fault from its ubiquitous operator. Cars confine empathy, especially while moving at speed. Cyclists and pedestrians become mere obstacles to avoid, or to not avoid once a motor vehicle and its driver are in motion.
And the thing is, cars weren’t originally meant to be everywhere at all. In fact, once you have everyone addicted to driving, the technological advantage of cars ceases to exist.
From ‘The Social Ideology of the Motorcar‘ by André Gorz:
“The worst thing about cars is that they are like castles or villas by the sea: luxury goods invented for the exclusive pleasure of a very rich minority, and which in conception and nature were never intended for the people. Unlike the vacuum cleaner, the radio, or the bicycle, which retain their use value when everyone has one, the car, like a villa by the sea, is only desirable and useful insofar as the masses don’t have one.”