The Benefit of Smoother Roads: How We Can Save the Earth

January 10, 2020

The Benefit of Smoother Roads: How We Can Save the Earth

Driving your car down a freshly paved road is like driving on a cloud and a rare treat. No one likes to drive on a bumpy road full of cracks and potholes. It’s bad for the car and the driver’s patience. Plus, it turns out that smooth roads are good for the environment. According to a recent study by a team at Rutgers University, the benefit of smoother roads and keeping them in good shape is lower greenhouse gases. Keeping road pavement in good condition saves money and energy—the dream is that every road is smooth as glass and free from holes.

What They Did

Buses, cars, and trucks are the biggest source of greenhouse gases, specifically carbon dioxide. They travel up and down America’s roads nonstop and release gases into the air. As such, the researchers at Rutgers University used a database by the Federal Highway Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation. The data tracked long-term pavement performance, and they used it to measure the impact of road repairs on the environment. They especially focused on asphalt pavement and its link to carbon dioxide emissions linked to global warming.

The Results of the Study

What they found is that extending the life of roads through preventative maintenance can lower the levels of greenhouse gases by up to two percent. Further, transportation groups and trucking companies can reduce their costs by 10 to 30 percent. Drivers can see the benefits in lower maintenance costs, longer tire life, less strain on suspension, and less overall vehicle repairs—all due to smoother roads. 

The team also looked at the carbon footprint of common repair methods for asphalt roads. They examined adding thin overlays to roads, putting in emulsion and aggregate, spreading slurry over the pavement, and filling cracks with seal. Of all the repair methods, adding the thin overlay had the least impact on the environment. This process led to the largest reduction in carbon dioxide emissions—around two percent.

What it Means

The results of the study show a significant reduction in greenhouse gases when roads are smooth and free of bumps and holes. The amount of carbon dioxide created by automobiles traveling on a bumpy road is greater than the amount of carbon dioxide created by the machines needed to repair the roads. Keeping roads in good condition is good for cars traveling on them and the world at large.

We are always happy to field any questions you have regarding the asphalt crack filler machines we have for sale, as well as any other seal coating equipment. Contact us today so we can help you find what you need.

 




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