Traffic: Why We Drive the way We do (and What It Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt.

February 8, 2009

Traffic, day in and day out we all experience the common feelings attributed with driving: That surge of rage when someone cuts you off on the road, the bleeding fury of being the last one caught behind a red traffic light, or having that familiar seething feeling of being behind that one car that won?t turn in the right hand lane. We as inhabitants of this world go through such processes day by day and slowly meld our minds into a single psyche. Yet have you ever wondered just what makes another person act that way on the road? How something as simple as driving a car to and from work can be a deep and involving psychological experience? This and more is uncovered in the book Traffic: Why We Drive the way We do (and What It Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt.
The book starts out with a different way of teaching the readers what would normally be a very menial and boring topic, and instead presents itself with a myriad of allusions to other works with a similar approach while still maintaining a tone that readers of all ages can thoroughly enjoy. Vanderbilt goes to great lengths, from simple computer simulations / computer driving machines to deep psychological analysis on just how our brains work when behind the wheel, catching habits that we ourselves may not even be aware of due to how repetitive they?ve become in our minds.
This book can and possibly may not be for everybody, for those who are looking for an entertaining read; this book may not entirely be for you as it?s more focused on its initial subject then that. However this book helps reveal many things that new drivers may not have even been aware of. This book has the potential to both give its reader a second look at how they see traffic and assist them in how to handle certain situations in the future. As said before, while this book is not for everyone, even if you have a small interest in the psychological and technical aspects of traffic, give this book a read. You?ll be glad you did.

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