While automobiles provide many benefits, they also have negative impacts. For example, car crashes account for an estimated $180 billion and air pollution from traffic accounts for an estimated $50-80 billion, according to a report by the American Public Health Association. The report draws on numerous sources to better understand the costs behind transportation.
The authors conclude:
- The economic cost of road congestion ranges from $50 billion to $80 billion annually.
- The estimated health-related cost of traffic crashes in five San Francisco neighborhoods is approximately $116 million. By instituting health-enhancing development, this could be reduced by more than 97%, to $3.4 million.
- An estimated $22 billion in health-related costs could be saved per year in the South Coast of California if air quality standards were met.
Additionally the authors’ recommend that transportation planning should include healthier options including: increasing the number of bicycle lanes and greater access to public transportation.
Read the APHA report: The Hidden Health Costs of Transportation