Traffic by Tom Vanderbilt
Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)

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Synopsis

A New York Times Notable Book

One of the Best Books of the Year
The Washington PostThe Cleveland Plain-DealerRocky Mountain News

In this brilliant, lively, and eye-opening investigation, Tom Vanderbilt examines the perceptual limits and cognitive underpinnings that make us worse drivers than we think we are. He demonstrates why plans to protect pedestrians from cars often lead to more accidents. He uncovers who is more likely to honk at whom, and why. He explains why traffic jams form, outlines the unintended consequences of our quest for safety, and even identifies the most common mistake drivers make in parking lots. Traffic is about more than driving: it's about human nature. It will change the way we see ourselves and the world around us, and it may even make us better drivers.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Tom Vanderbilt

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Tom Vanderbilt writes about design, technology, science and culture for Wired, Slate, The New York Times and other publications. He lives in Brooklyn and drives a 2001 Volvo V40.www.howwedrive.com
 
Published July 29, 2008 by Vintage. 418 pages
Genres: Travel, Professional & Technical, Political & Social Sciences, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Westerns, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Traffic

The New York Times

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An alternate title for this surprising, enlightening look at the psychology of human beings behind the steering wheel might be “Idiots.”

Aug 10 2008 | Read Full Review of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way...

The Guardian

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This is still a slightly sterile book - there is nothing on the whole culture and iconography of the open road, or on roads and crime, for example - but it leaves you with more to chew on than this sort of processed social science usually does.

Aug 30 2008 | Read Full Review of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way...

The Guardian

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Traffic by Tom Vanderbilt Find this on the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop Most of us take driving for granted.

Sep 06 2009 | Read Full Review of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way...

BC Books

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He researched this book extremely well, interviewing traffic engineers and other experts around the world and traveling to various countries to view traffic there himself.

Sep 15 2009 | Read Full Review of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way...

Book Reporter

And of course the experts have constructed their own verbal roadblocks and hazards with terms like “throughput maximization,” “passive safety,” “negative externalities” and “chimsil.” (My personal favorite is the soothing notion of “traffic calming.”) A friend of mine once had a student from Mexi...

Jan 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way...

The Telegraph

I picked up this book with a sense of anticipation - as well as a certain tensing: it's a hefty tome - then nearly flung it to one side.

Sep 12 2008 | Read Full Review of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way...

Slate

Hence the new Department of Justice initiative called DDACTS, or Data Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety, which has found that there is often a geographic link between traffic crashes and crime.

Aug 28 2009 | Read Full Review of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way...

Slate

While transit posters are enjoying a bit of renaissance at auction houses, the MoMA show reminds us these were more than pretty pictures or clever visual jokes, but rather part of a sweeping and exceedingly well-thought-out branding campaign—encompassing everything from posters to station archi...

Aug 25 2010 | Read Full Review of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way...

Slate

There are a bounty of studies from Europe showing that technologies like “variable speed limits,” which generate specific speeds depending on traffic conditions, can, under the right conditions, help reduce crashes and even improve highway throughput (even as mean speeds are lowered).

Oct 12 2011 | Read Full Review of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way...

Slate

This was the news that as of Feb 1, the department was ditching Courier New 12 as its official font-in-residence and taking up with Times New Roman 14.

Feb 20 2004 | Read Full Review of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way...

Deseret News

Utah drivers know about those things because many of our roads have "disappearing lanes," which cause drivers to instantly regroup.

Aug 03 2008 | Read Full Review of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way...

Huntington News

If you've wondered about these and dozens of other driving related questions, you'll probably find the answers in Tom Vanderbilt's fascinating, fact-packed "Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)" (Knopf, 416 pages, $24.95.) I tend to be an early merger and wonder a...

Aug 05 2008 | Read Full Review of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way...

Bookmarks Magazine

Full of anecdotes, interviews with traffic professionals, a brief history of traffic congestion—Julius Caesar makes a surprising appearance—and arcane, interesting facts (rubbernecking drivers slow down traffic passing a crash by as much 12.7 percent;

Aug 03 2008 | Read Full Review of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way...

Oprah.com

Impromptu showdowns, unnerving brinkmanship, hopeless gridlock: That's an apt description of cold war or Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (Knopf).

| Read Full Review of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way...

Austin Chronicle

He interviewed traffic engineers and NASCAR racers, rode in robot cars, and hung out in animal laboratories to learn why various species of locusts and ants never get into traffic jams.

Oct 31 2008 | Read Full Review of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way...

TreeHugger

We are all better drivers than average, capable of texting and eating and driving all at once, certain that our big SUV will protect us or our little sports car is more agile.

Aug 11 2008 | Read Full Review of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way...

Reader Rating for Traffic
75%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 209 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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