In roadway pavement design, the (US) controlling design load is usually the Equivalent Single Axle Load (ESAL). This number attempts to quantify how much bending stress a given vehicle causes in the pavement. Trucks have a much higher ESAL load than cars. In this case "truck" means "semi, big rig, freight carrier" and not a family pickup truck.
Typical values are:
- Car Axle = 0.0002 or 0.0003 ESAL
- Legal Truck Axle = ~2 ESAL (wide range based on weight)
By this measure, a typical car or pickup truck doesn't place any appreciable stress on the road pavement.
Two sections of road that are designed and built exactly the same and a certain period of time. This period of time could be 5 year, 10 years, 20 years, etc.
- Road driven on only by typical family or commuter vehicles. Basically only passenger vehicles (not busses) and not hauling goods or construction materials.
- Road with no vehicle traffic, but experiences the same weather conditions as (1). This would also include salt application in areas where that it common.
Would you be able to tell which section of pavement was driven on?
Would light weight vehicles cause so little additional damage to the pavement that it would be indistinguishable from natural weathering?
The corollary is that trucks cause all of the pavement damage.
Just to be clear, I am not concerned with visual things that you would be able to use to differentiate, e.g. oil stains, rubber marks, etc.