Effect of traffic flow on the release of pollutant gases
Air pollution will be the most severe in the early mornings and late evenings, during peak hour traffic.
Vehicle gas emissions
Motor vehicles consume gasoline and release several types of gaseous pollutants into the environment. These pollutants may cause poor visibility, respiratory problems such as asthma, and may even affect the quality of fresh water.
Among the pollutants released by motor vehicles are hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides and other particulates. Hydrocarbons are partially burned fuel and are toxic. They can cause liver damage and cancer. Carbon monoxide reduces our blood’s ability to carry oxygen, so overexposure to it may be fatal. Nitrogen oxides affect our resistance to respiratory infections. Similarly, particulates from vehicle fumes can cause respiratory problems.
Good driving habits and a well-maintained car can help reduce pollution emitted on roads. Most vehicles are most efficient at speeds between 55km/h to 75km/h. Within this speed range, the least amount of fuel is consumed and the least amount of pollution is emitted. In contrast, driving in heavy traffic causes one to accelerate and brake frequently, which consumes more fuel as well as releases more polluting gases.
Be careful of road vehicles - Adult supervision required.