A New York Times Notable Book
One of the Best Books of the Year
The Washington Post • The Cleveland Plain-Dealer • Rocky 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.
Vanderbilt looks at the psychology of driving and the many false impressions drivers use to operate their vehicles. He also looks at other subjects potentially unconsidered by the average driver, such as traffic control centers and smart technology that improves driving decisions. David Slavin's diverse application of tone and personality make him a great choice for this production. Vanderbilt's writing is accessible, but it changes in tone depending on the context (ranging from life-and-death issues of accidents to reflecting about traffic controllers protesting during the Academy Awards). Slavin balances these shifting thoughts and maintains an overall energetic personality throughout the production. The big challenge of this audiobook is how much drivers who listen to audiobooks will adjust their habits while listening to it. A Knopf hardcover. (Reviews, May 19).
All I can say is...wow.
I just finished the hardcover version of this book a couple days ago, and will never forget some of the things I've learned from it. This book contains fascinating glimpses into the mind-numbing psychological factors at work during our daily commutes, and combines them with the ever increasing amount of data and statistics on modern "traffic" as we know it. Combining this information into an engaging book was no doubt a daunting task for the author, and is evidenced by the massive amount of references cited in the back of the book. You owe it to yourself (and us other motorists) to read this book. You won't regret it, and it may literally save your life someday.