Air pollution: Motor vehicles of all descriptions account for about 34 per cent of lethal nitrogen dioxide that is emitted into the earth's atmosphere. Vehicles are also responsible for about 50 per cent of carbon monoxide emissions, 33 per cent carbon dioxide emissions and 10 per cent of particulate emissions. Acid rain is caused by nitrogen dioxide which encourages algae growth. Particulate is commonly known as soot. The soot pollutes the water on the ground and causes haze. Carbon monoxide in a large concentration is able to cause death. In smaller doses it can cause nausea, difficulty in breathing and headaches. Carbon dioxide significantly contributes to the earth's global warming.
Water pollution: Cars pollute through the runoff of oil, chemicals, brake dust and automotive fluids. Pumps that leak at petrol stations are another culprit. Ground water is contaminated with motor oil that is improperly disposed of.
Noise pollution: There are 250 million vehicles within the USA alone and this is a major noise factor in the cities.
Solid waste: Over 10 million vehicles are scrapped each year. About 25 per cent will not be recycled and are tossed into landfills. Millions of tyres will also be scrapped every year.
Land space: Within the USA alone, vehicles take up over 13,000 sq miles of the land. Approximately another 4,000 sq miles is taken up by roads.
Energy use: Vehicles will also utilise large amounts of the fossil fuels that are dwindling. Cars and light trucks account for about 43 per cent of the petroleum that is burned each year.
For over 100 years, motor vehicles have provided people with reliable transportation, but it has definitely impacted negatively on the environment.