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Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says about Us) (Vintage)


Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says about Us) (Vintage) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

About the Author

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.

Table of Contents


Why I Became a Late Merger (and Why You Should Too)

Chapter One

Why Does the Other Lane Always Seem Faster?

How Traffic Messes with Our Heads

Shut Up, I Cant Hear You: Anonymity, Aggression, and the Problems of Communicating While Driving

Are You Lookin at Me? Eye Contact, Stereotypes, and Social Interaction on the Road

Waiting in Line, Waiting in Traffic: Why the Other Lane Always Moves Faster

Postscript: And Now, the Secrets of Late Merging Revealed

Chapter Two

Why Youre Not as Good a Driver as You Think You Are

If Driving Is So Easy, Why Is It So Hard for a Robot? What Teaching Machines to Drive Teaches Us About Driving

Hows My Driving? How the Hell Should I Know? Why Lack of Feedback Fails Us on the Road

Chapter Three

How Our Eyes and Minds Betray Us on the Road

Keep Your Mind on the Road: Why Its So Hard to Pay Attention in Traffic 74

Objects in Traffic Are More Complicated Than They Appear: How Our Driving Eyes Deceive Us

Chapter Four

Why Ants Dont Get into Traffic Jams (and Humans Do): On Cooperation as a Cure for Congestion

Meet the Worlds Best Commuter: What We Can Learn from Ants, Locusts, and Crickets

Playing God in Los Angeles

When Slower Is Faster, or How the Few Defeat the Many: Traffic Flow and Human Nature

Chapter Five

Why Women Cause More Congestion Than Men (and Other Secrets of Traffic)

Who Are All These People? The Psychology of Commuting

The Parking Problem: Why We Are Inefficient Parkers and How This Causes Congestion

Chapter Six

Why More Roads Lead to More Traffic (and What to Do About It)

The Selfish Commuter

A Few Mickey Mouse Solutions to the Traffic Problem

Chapter Seven

When Dangerous Roads Are Safer

The Highway Conundrum: How Drivers Adapt to the Road They See

The Trouble with Traffic Signs-and How Getting Rid of Them Can Make Things Better for Everyone

Forgiving Roads or Permissive Roads? The Fatal Flaws of Traffic Engineering

Chapter Eight

How Traffic Explains the World: On Driving with a Local Accent

“Good Brakes, Good Horn, Good Luck”: Plunging into the Maelstrom of Delhi Traffic

Why New Yorkers Jaywalk (and Why They Dont in Copenhagen): Traffic as Culture

Danger: Corruption Ahead- the Secret Indicator of Crazy Traffic

Chapter Nine

Why You Shouldnt Drive with a Beer-Drinking Divorced Doctor Named Fred on Super Bowl Sunday in a Pickup Truck in Rural Montana: Whats Risky on the Road and Why

Semiconscious Fear: How We Misunderstand the Risks of the Road

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Why Risk on the Road Is So Complicated

The Risks of Safety

Epilogue: Driving Lessons




Product Details

Vanderbilt, Tom
Vintage Books USA
Sociology - General
Automotive - General
Driver education
traffic;psychology;non-fiction;sociology;driving;transportation;cars;urban planning;science;culture;roads;automobiles;social science;society;automobile;behavior;engineering;economics;safety;technology
traffic;psychology;non-fiction;sociology;driving;transportation;cars;urban planning;science;culture;roads;automobiles;social science;society;engineering;behavior;automobile;economics;safety;human behavior;technology
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
7.96x5.20x.93 in. .66 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Urban Studies » City Specific
History and Social Science » Sociology » Urban Studies » General
Transportation » Automotive » General

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