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

By Tom Vanderbilt
(Vintage Books USA, Paperback, 9780307277190, 402pp.)

Publication Date: August 11, 2009

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A New York Times Notable Book

One of the Best Books of the Year
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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.

Wednesday, Nov 25, 2009

Our sense of what's dangerous on the road is not always accurate, according to Tom Vanderbilt, author of Traffic: Why We Drive The Way We Do. Take roundabouts: "People fear roundabouts in America — they've been called 'Circles of Death,' Vanderbilt says. "And nothing could be further from the truth." More at

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