Problems of modern transportation
Problems of modern transportation include traffic safety, declining fuel reserves, environmental problems. Problems are most severe in countries that depend heavily on automobile transportation.
Traffic safety. Most types of high speed, engine powered transportation involve traffic safety problems. But automobile drivers have an especially poor safety record. In the United States, more people are killed in automobile accidents every year than in all other transportation accidents combined. Most automobile accidents could be prevented if every driver obeyed all traffic laws and all the rules for safe driving.
Airlines have one of the best safety records in the field of transportation. But heavy air traffic at major airports has increased the hazards of commercial flying. When many airliners await clearance to land or take off, airport approaches and runways become dangerously overcrowded. In addition, large airports have a growing amount of private plane traffic, which makes traffic control even more difficult. This problem could largely be eliminated if private planes were prohibited from flying near large commercial airports.
Train derailments are a problem on railroads. Worn-out or damaged tracks cause the majority of the derailments. Railroad companies have track replacement programs. However, the railroad companies claim that they need federal financial help to replace all their worn-out or damaged tracks.
Declining fuel reserves. Gasoline and other fuels made from petroleum supply nearly all the energy for engine- powered transportation. Energy experts warn that the world`s supply of inexpensive petroleum is being used up rapidly. Developed countries therefore face a difficult problem. They must ensure that their major transportation systems have enough fuel to function normally, but must do all they can to conserve fuel. Fuel conservation is necessary not only because of the threat of a serious fuel shortage but also because of the high price of petroleum. Higher petroleum prices result in higher transportation costs, which drive up the prices of transported goods.