Air pollution increases traffic accidents

According to the University of Economics in London, air pollution is considered the cause of hundreds of car accidents each year.

A study reviewed within 5 years of data show that when the concentration of nitrogen dioxide gas (NO2) increases one microgram per cubic meter of air, the impact of traffic accidents increased by 2%. Although this effect can be explained as increased traffic flow on the path to more pollution and more accidents.

Instead, they believe harmful gases weaken the ability of the driver focused, watery eyes and itchy nose can also cause distraction to drivers.

A recent study also showed that air pollution inside a car can be more than doubled compared to the outside by NO2 usually accumulate in a small space.


Lutz Sager, who led the study from the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at LSE, said: "Although it has been proven that air pollution adversely affects human health and the ability to take on work related to the mind, but this is the first study published impact assessment of road traffic safety."

Sager added: "The analysis identified an agent that air pollution leads to road accidents, but I can only speculate about the cause of the relationship. My main argument is air pollution as photos affect the sanity of the driver".

Air pollution may be the result of the integration of various toxic gases including carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, small particles and ozone material. However, NO2 was found to have the greatest impact.

Mr. Sager, a postdoctoral research has divided the UK into 32 regional networks, each covering 7700km2 area and mapping the number of accidents corresponds to the concentration of air pollutants from 2009 to 2014 offered by the Department of Environment (Defra).

He found that when there is an increase in nitrogen dioxide concentrations of micrograms per cubic meter over an above the average daily is sufficient to increase the average number of accidents per day. Mr. Sager calculated that the western regions including London, where levels suffered the most severe air pollution, if cut by 30% NO2 concentrations may reduce the number of accidents per day road up to 5%.


NO2 concentrations in the contaminated areas of London can average 97 micrograms per cubic meter of air. Approximately 150,000 traffic crashes injure pedestrians in the UK each year, if the cut is 2% means that there are thousands of accidents can be prevented.

Mr. Sager said: "This analysis used data from the UK, but I think that my findings are relevant to other parts of the world. The extra costs from traffic accidents confirmed the need reduce air pollution, especially in the crowded city. my analysis shows that the effect of air pollutants on road traffic accidents measured in this study is likely derived from air nitrogen dioxide or other gases pollution molecules that are not material."

However, other experts have expressed doubts about the link between air pollution and traffic accidents.

Edmund King, AA president said: "If you believe that the areas with high air pollution, more accidents must be reviewed. Look at Mumbai and New Delhi, two areas badly polluted air currency but also traffic chaos and no less complicated. So I said that this study is not realistic, how can we prove the sanity of the driver is impaired by pollution."

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