Dirty Cars, Dirty Air: Czechs Are Europe's Most Toxic Drivers

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Air pollution causes over 500,000 premature deaths in Europe a year and is linked to another 6.5 million Europeans falling ill each year from diseases such as asthma and bronchitis.

These shocking statistics have lead to the European Environment Agency declaring air pollution as the “single largest environmental health risk in Europe”.

Motorists in the Czech Republic were named the most toxic in Europe. Not only do they have the 6th lowest number of alternative fuel vehicles (0.7%), their cars are also the 6th oldest on average at 14.5 years old. It is unsurprising, therefore, that this central European country has the 3rd highest levels of recorded air pollution in the continent.

Vehicle owners in Poland came in at a close 2nd. Despite having the highest number of alternative fuel passenger cars (15.5%) in the research, the eastern European country performed poorly on all other measures of vehicle toxicity. Most notably, Poland is home to the oldest cars in Europe (17.2 years) and has the highest recorded ambient air pollution in the continent.

Estonia was found to be home to the 3rd most toxic drivers in Europe, owing to its citizens driving the 5th oldest vehicles on average at 15.1 years old, and having the 5th highest number of vehicles per capita. The country also has a very low percentage of alternative fuel vehicles, at a mere 0.6%.

Croatia and Slovakia completed the list of the top 5 most toxic drivers in Europe, with motorists in countries such as Slovenia and Romania not far behind.

And who isn’t doing so bad?

Surprisingly, UK drivers are amongst the most eco-friendly drivers in Europe. British motorists ranked 18th in this research for toxicity, faring better than Germany (17th), France (16th), Italy (13th) and Spain (7th).

Coming in at a very respectable 24th for driver toxicity, Ireland is home to the 2nd greenest motorists in the continent. 

This research revealed that motorists in Sweden are the most environmentally-conscious, with the 2nd highest number of alternative fuel vehicles (7.0%) and the lowest recorded ambient air pollution. The country’s Nordic neighbors also placed well, with Finland (23rd) and Denmark (22nd) being named amongst the top 5 least toxic drivers in Europe.

Author: red

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