Impacts of Driving
The dramatic increase in the number of cars on our roadways has contributed to congestion, air pollution, higher energy consumption, and a decline in our quality of life.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 40,000 people are killed ever year in automobile collisions. Nationwide, automobile collisions are the number one cause of death from every age 3 to 33. In Washington State, automobile collisions kill more people ages 1 to 44 than any diseases or injuries.
In 2000, the total economic cost of automobile collisions in Washington State was more than $3 billion dollars. Each year between 2001 and 2005 an average of 126,000 collisions occurred on Washington’s roadways. 3,700 people suffered fatal or disabling injuries each year resulting in the death of over 600.
Global warming is being caused by the buildup of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. When fossil fuels are burned in automobiles, almost a pound of carbon dioxide is produced for every mile driven. In our state, motor vehicles produce more that half the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.
Emissions from cars are a major source of local air pollution. Even with tougher laws on tailpipe emissions, cars still remain a leading source of air pollution, especially in urban areas. In Washington, vehicles produce more than half the emissions of air pollutants that can cause cancer, asthma and other health problems.
Every year an average car emits:
Every year the typical SUV emits:
Vehicle use in the United State ranks among the highest in the world. On average we make more than 20 trips a week in our cars. What is the result? Less physical activity! If you replaced just 3 or 4 of these trips per week with another travel option, it could have immense impacts on your overall health.
Financial Costs to You
Driving alone to work or driving to run all of your errands can be quite costly. If you consider things like the cost of gas, insurance, maintenance, and parking the cost of owning and driving a car ca be quite expensive. Studies have shown that many households in the U.S. spend more on owning and operating their cars than they do on housing or food. Click here to see how much it costs for you to drive and see how it compares to other modes of travel.