The negative externalities of car impact in our society

The history of cars began with the discovery of ‘’wheels’’ in the stone age to the mid-19th century and has exploded to what it is today, its usage and design varies to individual tastes and its usage has totally changed the landscape of our world. And one of the most amazing things about them is that no-one invented them—no single person, that is. There was no scribbling on the back of an envelope, no lightning flash of inspiration, Chris Woodford (2009) History of cars (Retrieved from http://www.explainthatstuff.com/historyofcars.html. [Accessed (02/11/15)] the economic impact is enormous.
Cars are important to urban economics because they directly relate to how people move back and forth in a city. Their work may be in the CBD while they may live in subdivisions in the outer areas of the city. About 75% of commuting is done by people traveling in a car alone and another 12% is done by carpooling to and from work. The remaining percentage is split among public transit, walking, and other options. So, it is easy to see why considering congestion externalities generated by commuting in cars is an important issue for study in relation to urban economics.
In recent years, the commute time has been increasing and the average speed has been slowing down since 1990. These factors increase both the monetary and time costs associated with commuting. The main costs arising from commuting are congestion, pollution, and accidents. The one that generally affects most people is traffic congestion. This is because the more people who use the road, the more it will slow down your trip.
There are two costs associated with commuting: the private cost and the social cost. The social cost will be higher than the private cost at all points and the optimal number of drivers on the road will be where the demand curve intersects the social cost curve. Because the road is able to be used by anyone, it is considered to be a public good.
Car introduced a whole new way of life to the world and it introduced many conveniences into popular cultures of the world. It reshaped industry, economy and culture of the peoples of the world in several ways both positive and negative. The introduction of the car pushed people forward in and ever changing technological world.
For the purpose of this essay we will be looking at the negative externalities of car impact in our society.
• Pollutions: cars have been used to transport people, goods and services from one place to another. though the economic impact is large cars has been accused of contributing to air pollution due to its gas emission which has led to calls from certain section of the populations for various taxes and government regulation to be introduced so as to limit its contribution to air pollution and climate change. It also contributes to noise pollutions, mostly urban areas. With air pollution come economic impacts on the health of the citizenry which in turn add to the cost of health care hence increase in investment on the sector by the government. This is contrary to what the society wants. A healthy society is a productive society.
• Noise: is one of the negative externalities resulting from cars on our roads as a result of constant sounds it makes while on the move as well as the blaring of horns for motorists.

• Accidents: with loss of lives on our roads there have been some calls for some sort of measures to be put in place to tackle the menaces of accident caused on cars whole some people blame the drivers. But in general there have been calls for some introduction of speed restrictions on major roads.

• Congestion: cars has been blamed for gridlock on roads hence the call for some restriction on some part of our majors cities and town. some countries has went as far as introducing NEGATIVE AND POSITTIVE plate number road usage as well as introduce some kind of charge for driving through some part of our cities like London (introduced in 17/02/2003). This has also led to introduction of route specially made for cyclists, with more emphasis for pedestrians.
• Journeys times impose external cost on others e.g. congestion; air pollution; noise; accidents. Beyond Journey capacity the private costs of car journeys rise because congestion causes time delays and higher fuel costs.

• Infrastructure (buildings) projects can result in visual intrusion on urban or rural landscape; blight where planning inquires create delay and uncertainty
• Peaking causes traffic congestion. As extra cars join a road network already operating at full capacity, average speed falls and so journey times increase.
• Other travellers are also effected and as with any externality, economists attempt to place a monetary value on negative spill-over effects including: Perceived time cost of journey delays valued at the gross wage rate or WTP value of time
• •Additional private costs e.g. higher fuel costs, with traffic gridlocks on our roads cars tend to stay on roads longer than expected hence adding to extra cost of fuel ass drivers and commuters spend more time on traffic jams; has a spill effect on those who pays for commuting .

Source: Essay UK - http://www.essay.uk.com/essays/sociology/the-negative-externalities-of-car-impact-in-our-society/


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