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Warning: Driving Kills, Maims, Suffocates & Ravages 1

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Driving warning labels – courtesy of Chris Bruntlett / Hush Magazine 

In a recent article in Hush magazine, our friend Chris Bruntlett argues that our addiction to driving can perhaps be overcome by treating driving as the new smoking, or viewing driving as “society’s cancer”.

Chris created the above cigarette warning labels for drivers to help raise awareness of the negative effects of driving, that our society is seemingly oblivious to. The idea was first concocted by Mikael over at Copenhagenize in 2009.

My view on cars is a bit more moderate. I think cars have their place in our society, I just think we use cars far too much. But I do agree that our society is seemingly clueless about the havoc wreaked by our addiction to driving – in terms of its physical destruction of human lives and our environment – as well as the emotional damage caused by the stresses of driving and congestion.

Bruntlett writes:

“The severe impact driving has on our physical and emotional health is well documented, if not broadly accepted. The stress and isolation of being trapped, without meaningful human interaction, has tremendous effects on brain chemistry. It leaves people angry, distrustful, and individualistic, with studies finding a correlation between the amount of time a person spends in a car and their degree of social conservatism. The physical health impacts, however, are far more detrimental: asthma, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are all symptoms of a car-dependent lifestyle, costing countless lives and dollars each and every day. Driving at 100 km/hr for an hour is said to reduce a person’s life expectancy by 20 minutes, while cycling at 20 km/hr increases it by two and a half hours.”

Read the full article on Hush Magazine

Cigarettes were certainly considered to be ‘cool’ and ‘hip’ in our society once upon a time, but with both education and awareness, that view has generally shifted to people viewing cigarettes as disgusting and harmful.

Perhaps one day we will look back at how cars used to be ‘hip’ and ‘cool’, but now we only use them as a last resort, because we would much rather clear our minds, get some exercise and arrive on time by pedalling to our destination.

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My daughter Sofia and my dog Mojie strapped in the cargo bike getting ready to pedal unimpeded and stress-free to our destination – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country

James D. Schwartz is the Editor of The Urban Country and is based in Toronto, Canada. You can contact James at james.schwartz@theurbancountry.com or follow him on Twitter.

i share the road

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