More and more people now own cars. What are the problems associated with an increase in the usage of private cars?
How can these problems be solved?
Most families in the developed countries own at least one car. The situation is not much different in the developing countries either. Needless to say, the number of people who rely on public transport is declining. It is true that almost all of us want to own a car. Busy highways are also considered to be a sign of a developed economy. However, an increase in the usage of private cars is not exactly a positive trend.
When more and more cars hit the roads, there is an increase in vehicular pollution. The quality of air in cities is already bad. An increase in the number of cars will make the situation even worse. Atmospheric pollution can lead to global warming. When average temperatures rise, they cause drastic changes in weather patterns across the world. What’s more when the quality of air decreases, there is an increase in the incidences of respiratory diseases.
Although technology has significantly advanced in the last few decades, cars and other vehicles are still run on fossil fuels like petrol and diesel. These are not renewable sources of energy and are getting used up fast. In many countries fuel prices are already pretty high. A further depletion in the reserves of fossil fuels will make petrol and diesel costlier. In such a scenario, even public transport systems will be unaffordable. This will badly affect the poor.
An increase in the number of private cars also leads to more accidents. Countless lives are lost in accidents every day. This is clearly an indication that our existing infrastructure is incapable of handling more vehicles.
Since cars are a status symbol, it is not easy to dissuade people from buying them. However, governments can encourage more people to depend on the public transport system by upgrading their quality and reliability. If trains and buses arrive on time, more people will depend on them. Carpooling is another option. People who work in the same office can share car journeys. By doing this they can not only reduce their fuel expenses, but also make the roads a little less busy and hence safer.
In conclusion, a rise in the number of private cars leads to several problems. However, the governments can improve the situation by making public transport systems more reliable.