Traffic : Why we drive the way we do (and what it says about us)

3.69 (6,105 ratings by Goodreads)
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Why does the other lane always seem to be moving faster? Why are people so different inside their cars than they are outside them? Is traffic a microcosm of society, or does the road make its own rules? "Traffic" speaks volumes: bringing together people from every walk of life. In this hugely enjoyable, curiosity-filled book, Tom Vanderbilt explains why traffic problems are really people problems. "Traffic" shows that how we behave walking the streets, on our bikes and in our cars is an astonishing cultural indicator; a living, constantly surprising model, what physicists call 'emergent collective behaviour'. Vanderbilt chauffeurs us through why it's so hard to pay attention in traffic, why women cause more congestion than men, what factors make us more likely to honk our horns and a whole host of eye-opening highway conundrums. This book will change the way you view the world and help you better navigate it.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 163 x 245 x 38mm | 764g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0713999314
  • 9780713999310
  • 503,052

About Tom Vanderbilt

Tom Vanderbilt writes on design, technology, science, and culture for many publications, including Wired, Slate, The London Review of Books, The Wall Street Journal, Artforum, Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine and Popular Science. He is contributing editor to award-winning design magazines I.D. and Print, contributing editor to Business Week Online, and contributing writer of the popular blog Design Observer. He is the author of two previous books: Survival City: Adventures Among the Ruins of Atomic America and The Sneaker Book.
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Review quote

"Tom Vanderbilt is one of our best and most interesting writers, with an extraordinary knack for looking at everyday life and explaining, in wonderful and entertaining detail, how it really works. It doesn't matter whether you drive or take the bus - you're going to want to read this book." James Surowiecki, author of The Wisdom of Crowds "A great, deep, multidisciplinary investigation of the dynamics and the psychology of traffic jams. It is fun to read. Anyone who spends more than 19 minutes a day in traffic should read this book." Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan "Fascinating, illuminating and endlessly entertaining as well. Vanderbilt shows how a sophisticated understanding of human behaviour can illuminate one of the modern world's most basic and most mysterious endeavours. You'll learn a lot; and the life you save may be your own." Cass R Sunstein, co-author of Nudge "Everyone who drives - and many people who don't - should read this book. It is a psychology book, a popular science book, and a how-to-save-your-life manual, all rolled into one. I found it gripping and fascinating from the very beginning to the very end." Tyler Cowen, author of Discover Your Inner Economist
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Rating details

6,105 ratings
3.69 out of 5 stars
5 20% (1,234)
4 41% (2,507)
3 29% (1,760)
2 8% (482)
1 2% (122)
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