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Social Consequences of Automobiles This paper is an analysis of the impact of the increasing number of automobiles on the global environment peoples lives and health and the structure of Western society In addition to exploring the impact of automobiles technologies that have been developed to cope with the problems will be examined as well as potential long-term solutions to the social and ecological problems caused by automobiles While the ecological impact of automobiles on society may be perceived in more concrete terms the measurement of its social impact is more abstract in its definition Mark Delucchi suggests that the total social cost of automobile use is the welfare difference between the current motor vehicle system and a system which provides exactly the same services that is moves people and goods to and from the same places as do motor vehicles but without time manpower materials or energy - in short without cost Delucchi 1997 136 This interpretation of the social cost of automobiles eludes to several general categories of impact such as personal non-monetary costs bundled private sector costs government costs and various externalities More specifically personal non-monetary costs of automobile use refer to any unpriced costs of traveling such as time spent during a commute or the risk of having an accident Delucchi 1997 138 Bundled private sector costs are generally large costs which are not explicitly priced into the automobile such as free non-residential parking the cost of home garages and of local roads provided by private developers Delucchi 1997 138 Government costs refer to taxpayer funding which is being used to support the highway infrastructure funding which would otherwise be used for another social purpose Finally the social cost of externalities refer to uncompensated pain and suffering from accidents traffic delay and any mental anguish rage or stress resulting from automobile use Delucchi 1997 139
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