Driving on a damaged road would increase pollution and fuel consumption
The Spanish Road Association (AEC) has carried out a study linking road quality and vehicle pollution. To do this, a group of experts measured the pollution level of a car and a semi on a damaged road and then on a renovated road. The results were then compared with a road in normal condition. The differences found were far from negligible.
These tests were carried out on a 28.6 mile stretch of motorway and confirm the experts' hypotheses. In the case of the car, CO2 emissions decreased by an average of 3.5% on a good quality asphalt. This reduction is even greater for trucks, where the CO2 reduction in this case is 4%.
If, on the other hand, the road surface is particularly damaged (deep cracks, numerous potholes, major deformations, etc.), cars can emit up to 9% more CO2. This figure falls to 6% for trucks. If the road is less damaged (fine cracks, minor potholes, slight deformations...), emissions increase by 5% and 4% respectively.
A poorly maintained road would also increase fuel consumption. It also poses additional safety problems (especially for motorcyclists in rainy weather). Tyres wear more quickly and some other vehicle components such as shock absorbers can be prematurely damaged.