Traffic : Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What it Says About Us), Hardback

Traffic : Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What it Says About Us) Hardback

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


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.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Cultural studies
  • ISBN: 9780713999310



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This is a surprisingly fascinating book, even (especially?) for car sceptics like me, shedding light on the many little-known facts that make traffic engineering such a complex matter. Exploring subjects such as congestion physics, group behavior, statistics, safety measures, traffic calming, culture biases and disturbingly adequate analogies with insect societies, Tom Vanderbilt gives a very thorough picture of the many counterintuitive facts about traffic. Reading this book won't help you avoid traffic jams, but at least you'll know how they work!

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