Road transport is a key factor for social and economic development and the cohesion of different territories. However, its counterpart is high energy consumption and high levels of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as causing congestion in road networks and a high accident rate.
Travellers can take advantage of the benefits of road transport and substantially reduce its negative impacts, either by following a few simple tips on choosing cleaner vehicles, driving more efficiently or using low-occupancy alternatives to the passenger car. In most cases, these actions will also lead to economic savings and an improvement of the environment.
In recent years, petrol and diesel vehicles have become much cleaner in terms of air quality emissions, i.e. pollutants that affect human health. There have also been improvements, albeit less significant, in the fuel consumption and hence CO2 emissions of conventionally fuelled vehicles. Many of the advances, such as downsizing, catalytic converters or the effects of electrical equipment and air conditioning, also apply to alternative fuel vehicles and hybrid technology.