Looking at other areas of the world, one can easily see a difference between the culture of the car in places such as Europe. In those regions of the world, public transportation runs paramount. This is oftentimes blamed on the price of fuel in europe, and it may be a strong contributing factor that helps push Europeans to favor public transportation whereever they can. However, there is a lot to be said about the efficiency and extensivity of their public transit infrastructure.
One may wonder how/why such a system is very juvenile and underdeveloped in America. The answer? Early 1900's General Motors.
Utilizing a front company by the name of National City Lines, General Motors, Firestone Tires and Standard Oil (which would later become Exxon-Mobil) was founded in 1936. They purchased public transportation lines and effectively ran the public transportation into the ground. They raised rates to unafforable levels, and allowed infrastructure to decay and even ripped up transit lines. By 1956, over 100 rail systems in 45 cities had been purchased and destroyed.
General Motors and the other companies in on this scheme were investigated, and found guilty of criminal conspiracy to monopolize ground transportation. They were fined a mere $5,000. To replace all the lines they destroyed now would cost close to $300 Billion.
And this is one of the MAJOR reasons why America is so incredibly dependent on cars.