Tom's Reviews > Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do

Traffic by Tom Vanderbilt
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's review
Feb 09, 11

bookshelves: non-fiction, favorites, policy
Read in February, 2011

This book was endlessly fascinating, and really meticulously researched (almost 100 pages of notes). I hope everyone who has read this book walks away with a more realistic view of whether or not they are good drivers. In surveys, a majority feel they are better than average, which starting several years ago I realized I was not a good driver, merely one who has avoided crashes and tickets. The book also delved into really fascinating phenomena, such as why it always feels like the other lane is going faster in traffic, and how sometimes a lack of signs and bike lanes can make roads safer. The reason for this is since there is more uncertainty, people are more focused and ready to respond to the unexpected. The book also discusses the problems of communication and anonymity in cars, and the problems that causes such as misunderstood honking and hand signals, and how eye contact between drivers can seem uncomfortable while outside of a car it seems normal.

This book is really worth the read.
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