Automobiles improved modern life (1)? Автомобили улучшили нашу жизнь?
I support the statement that automobiles have caused serious problems. While automobiles have brought us many conveniences, they surely have brought us many undesirable consequences, of which three can be singled out: traffic congestion, air pollution, and highway accidents.
Automobiles have congested city streets. The problem is more obvious when the masses of motor vehicles enter or leave cities at peak traffic hours. The constantly growing number of automobiles throughout the world has made the congestion problem worse and worse because planners and engineers simply cannot find a solution to keep up with the increasing volume of traffic growth. The widespread use of automobiles for business travel has also led in many cities to a decline in public-transit systems, which result in more and more use of private cars, and exacerbate the congestion problems.
Air pollution is another program caused by the automobile. Automobile exhausts commonly contribute half the atmospheric pollutants in large cities and even more in cities where atmospheric and topographic conditions cause the smog formation. Although many cities require the installation of catalytic converters and other controls on motor vehicles to restrict the emission of pollutants, the concentration of many thousands of motor vehicles in large cities has given the problem a new dimension.
Highway accidents create a distressing toll of fatalities and injuries wherever there is widespread use of automobiles. Each year there are hundreds of thousands of motor vehicle fatalities worldwide and about 50,000 in the United States alone. The social and economic costs of such accidents are enormous. Efforts to improve highway safety have been successful in most countries, but a reduction in the ratio of fatalities and injuries per distance traveled is often offset by increases in numbers of accidents because of the ever-growing use of motor vehicles.
In short, automobile has brought us more bane than boon. We should take public transportation whenever possible, and reduce the number of cars running in urban streets.