Traffic was an outstandingly well conceived book about the psychological processes that tie into everyday driving. Ever wondered why ants seem to work so well together, and why humans cannot even seem to cooperate on simple and sparsely populated roads? Have you ever felt the delays in traffic from an accident that was cleared long before you even started your car on your morning drive? Tom Vanderbilt utilized dozens of studies conducted on traffic in order to better prove the many social sciences that tie into our mobile world. Vanderbilt explains why women cause more traffic than men, and why despite all of our technological innovations in transportation, daily commutes have consistently (since Roman times) averaged around 1 hour round trip. Traffic was both professionally convincing and casually easy to relate to. As a work of nonfiction, Traffic is a mix between a slightly ironic collection of information and a well documented listing of driving abstractions which unfortunately afflict every city, state and country in the world. If you care at all to learn a little about how the world works from a friendly and simple point of view, I suggest buying and reading Traffic by Tom Vanderbilt. You will be pleasantly surprised to learn a little about yourself through your driving habits as you unlock the secrets of humans commuting rituals. If nothing else I learned why not to drive with a Beer-Drinking Divorced Doctor Named Fred on Super Bowl Sunday in a Pickup Truck in Rural Montana (chapter 9).
Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What it Says About Us)
February 9, 2009