The "car effect" explains why so many people choose to drive even when it's not in their best interest.
People don't always make rational decisions. The entire field of behavioral economics, with all its colorfully named biases and heuristics, is based on our irrationality. If that's not enough to convince you, then let us remind you that Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is a thing.
Go ahead and add cars to the illogical list too. In an upcoming paper in Transport Policy, a group of Italian researchers report that people show an irrational bias toward automobiles — they call it the "car effect." Instead of considering all travel modes and choosing the one that saves the most time and money, people prefer to drive even when it's not the best objective option:
Our key experimental result is that travel mode is significantly affected by heuristics and biases leading to robust deviations from rational behaviour. …
The main bias pointed out by data is the car effect, according to which individuals exhibited a preference for cars over metro and bus in contrast with their economic interest.