Traffic: Book summary and reviews of Traffic by Tom Vanderbilt

Traffic

Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)

by Tom Vanderbilt

Traffic by Tom Vanderbilt X
Traffic by Tom Vanderbilt

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Book Summary

Driving is a fact of life. We are all spending more and more time on the road, and traffic is an issue we face everyday. This book will make you think about it in a whole new light.

We have always had a passion for cars and driving. Now Traffic offers us an exceptionally rich understanding of that passion. Vanderbilt explains why traffic jams form, outlines the unintended consequences of our attempts to engineer safety and even identifies the most common mistakes drivers make in parking lots. Based on exhaustive research and interviews with driving experts and traffic officials around the globe, Traffic gets under the hood of the quotidian activity of driving to uncover the surprisingly complex web of physical, psychological and technical factors that explain how traffic works.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Vanderbilt heightens awareness of an institution and its attendant behaviors that are all too often taken for granted." - Publishers Weekly.

"Anyone who drives will not be surprised overall but may be shocked at some of the analysis that is presented here for the first time-and may become a safer driver because of it. Even pedestrians are affected by traffic and should read this book." - Library Journal.

"Fluently written and oddly entertaining, full of points to ponder while stuck at the on-ramp meter or an endless red light." - Kirkus Reviews.

"This may be the most insightful and comprehensive study ever done of driving behavior and how it reveals truths about the types of people we are." - Booklist.

"Tom Vanderbilt uncovers a raft of counterintuitive facts about what happens when we get behind the wheel, and why." - BusinessWeek.

"A literate, sobering look at our roadways that explains why the other lane is moving faster and why you should never drive at 1 p.m. on Saturday." - GQ.

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Author Information

Tom Vanderbilt

Tom Vanderbilt writes about design, technology, science, and culture for Wired, Slate, The New York Times, and many other publications. He lives in Brooklyn and drives a 2001 Volvo V40.

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