Some of the obvious societal and health problems created by the car are air pollution, noise, danger, ill-health, congestion, parking problems and that of being an eyesore. Cars are not practical means of transport for short trips inside a town and it is on these trips that they do their greatest damage. In addition, cars and their parts have considerable economic value. Many are stolen and abandoned later as wrecks. Cars are also representative of affluence and as such are targets for the alienated actions of juveniles. Deliberately vandalized, and in some cases, burned, automobiles are abandoned in the streets by their owners.
In addition to the morbidity and mortality it causes through air pollution, road traffic leads to noise stress, loss of quality of life, water pollution, etc. Various economic evaluations show that the costs of its overall impact are far greater than the additional taxes paid by road transport (through fuel tax, registration, etc.). In other words, road traffic does not pay for the social costs it generates, which is tantamount to its being subsidized. This favours a pattern of transport development, and especially that of road transport, which is accompanied by excessive impacts on the environment and health.
Transport infrastructures, heavy metals from vehicle exhaust and de-icing substances, vehicle waste (e.g. old cars, tires, batteries), fuel spillages, as well as tire and road abrasion, can cause contamination of soil and groundwater, which may affect the quality of drinking-water and of agricultural products.