Traffic has been named one of 2008’s Most Notable Books by the New York Times.

Traffic has been chosen as one of the Top 10 Books of the Year by the Washington Post.

Traffic has been chosen “Book of the Year” by, and one of the top books of the year by

Traffic is listed at #10 on the New York Times best-seller list (8/30/08).

Traffic is listed at #4 on the San Francisco Chronicle best-seller list (8/31/08).

Traffic is named to the Top 10 best-seller list of the Toronto Star and Maclean’s (Canada).

Traffic has been named one of Amazon’s “Significant Seven,” its list of seven best books for the month of July.

Stopping Traffic,” by Josh McHugh, Wired, August 2008.

How’s My Driving?” Q&A with Freakonomics blog. June 5, 2008.

Conquering the On-Ramp,” by Mary Wisnewski, Chicago Sun-Times, July 21, 2008

Going with the Flow,” by David Mehegan, The Boston Globe, August 16, 2008

Traffic Expert/Author Tells Us Why We Drive the Way We Do,” by Patrick Reardon, The Chicago Tribune, August 21, 2008.

Is a Little Obnoxious Driving a Good Thing?” by Ben Wear. The Austin-American Statesman, Monday, July 28, 2008.

Zoom, zoom, crash, bang,” by Margaret Wente. The Globe and Mail (Canada), August 16, 2008.

Think You Know the Rules of the Road?” by Tom Vanderbilt, Los Angeles Times, July 27, 2008.

“‘Traffic’ writer reads the road signals to explain drivers’ behavior,” by Bob Minzesheimer, USA Today, by Bob Minzesheimer, July 28, 2008.

The Traffic Guru,” by Tom Vanderbilt. The Wilson Quarterly, Summer, 2008.

We Drive As We Live,” by Kevin Berger,

It Could Drive Us to Think,” by Fiona McCann. The Irish Times, August 23, 2008.

We Are How We Move,” by Insiya Amir. Business Standard, September 3, 2008 (India).

Interview with Tom Vanderbilt, by John Intini, Maclean’s (Canada), August 13, 2008.

Q&A with Richard Halicks, Atlanta Journal Constitution, July 27, 2008.

Podcast discussion with Sam Tannenhaus, editor, New York Times Book Review, August 8, 2008.

A few choice words about your driving,” by Vit Wagner, The Star (Toronto, Canada), August 10, 2008.

What’s Driving Our Road Rage,” by Vicki Hyman, The Star-Ledger, August 11, 2008.

Road Kill,” by Tom Vanderbilt. New York Post, July 27, 2008.


“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. That’s never been more true than with Traffic, where he takes a subject that we all deal with (and worry about), and lets us see it through new eyes. In the process, he helps us understand better not just the highway, but the world. 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 The Black Swan

“Fascinating, illuminating, and endlessly entertaining as well. Vanderbilt shows how a sophisticated understanding of human behavior can illuminate one of the modern world’s most basic and most mysterious endeavors. You’ll learn a lot; and the life you save may be your own.”
— Cass R. Sunstein, coauthor of Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

“One of the heirs to the Freakonomics legacy. A very clever young writer tells us all sorts of things about what driving says about us. I kept waiting for the moment when my interest in congestion and roads would run its course. It never did.” — Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers, The Tripping Point, Blink

“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

“[Vanderbilt] wants to know what comes over us when we get behind the wheel… this book goes a long way toward explaining how we veer off course.” — O: The Oprah Magazine

“A surprising, enlightening look at the psychology of human beings behind the steering wheels… [My solution to the nation’s vehicular woes would be to make this good book required reading for anyone applying for a driver’s license.” — Mary Roach, The New York Times Book Review

“Tom Vanderbilt’s Traffic — engagingly written, meticulously researched, endlessly interesting and informative — is one of those rare books that comes out of the depths of nowhere… Traffic gets about as close to the heart of modern existence as any book could get, yet what’s truly astonishing is that no one else has done it, at least not on the scale that Vanderbilt has achieved.” — Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post

“Surprising details abound. Vanderbilt investigates … complexities with zeal.” — The New Yorker

“A smart and comprehensive analysis of the everyday act of driving… [T]om Vanderbilt’s book is a balanced and instructive discussion on how to improve our policies toward the inexorable car.” Edward Glaeser, The New Republic, August 13, 2008.

“A great book about driving and traffic – perhaps the best ever written.” — Will Self, The Daily Telegraph

“Fresh and timely . . . Vanderbilt investigates how human nature has shaped traffic, and vice versa, finally answering drivers’ most familiar and frustrating questions.” — Publishers Weekly

“A fascinating read… Vanderbilt takes the reader on a lengthy, incident-packed journey for which it is a pleasure to accept the role of passenger.” — Tim Lott, The Daily Telegraph (U.K.)

“Eye-opening… full of scads of cocktail-party factoids…” — Time

“A fascinating survey of the oddities and etiquette of driving…” James Q. Wilson, The Wall Street Journal

“I’m very glad I read this book. It tells you a lot about traffic. But of course it does more than this. It’s really a book about human nature.” —William Leith, Evening Standard (UK)

“A richly extended metaphor for the challenge of organising competing human needs and imperfect human judgment into harmonious coexistence.” —Rafael Behr, The Observer (UK)

“Automobile traffic is one of the most studied phenomena in advanced societies. Mr. Vanderbilt has mastered all of it. Arresting facts appear on every page.” —Christopher Caldwell, Financial Times (UK)

“Traffic changes the way you think about driving. For that reason alone, it deserves your attention.” — Dan Danbom, Rocky Mountain News

“Traffic, as Vanderbilt’s meticulous map reveals, is a microcosm of ecological, social, psychological, even spiritual puzzles. Traffic will definitely change the way you think about driving, which also means changing the way you think about being human.” — Michael Agger, Slate

“Intriguing. Somehow manages to plunge far more deeply than one would imagine a meditation on travel possibly could. Perhaps without intending to, Vanderbilt has narrowed in on the central question of our time. His book asks us to consider how we can persuade human beings to behave more cooperatively than selfishly.” — Elaine Margolin, The Denver Post

“Vanderbilt’s engagingly brisk and smart examination of how we drive delivers a wealth of automotive insights both curious… and counterintuitive.” — Details

“Lively… [T]his is a book all motorists should read.” — Cleveland Plain-Dealer

“A literate, sobering look at our roadways.” — GQ

“Fluently written and oddly entertaining, full of points to ponder while stuck at the on-ramp meter or an endless red light.” — Kirkus

“This may be the most insightful and comprehensive study ever done of driving behavior and how it reveals truths about the types of people we are.” — Booklist

“Tom Vanderbilt uncovers a raft of counterintuitive facts about what happens when we get behind the wheel, and why.” — BusinessWeek

“Follow the author on an engrossing (and heavily footnoted) tour through the neuroscience of highway illusions, the psychology of late merging, and other existential driving dilemmas.” — Discover

“Fascinating . . . Could not come at a better time.”
Library Journal

“Reading Vanderbilt’s book is a bit like a bump-and-go drive around the world with Malcolm Gladwell as your passenger.” — Best Life

“Delightful… Vanderbilt … provides an engaging, informative, psychologically savvy account of the conscious and unconscious assumptions of individual drivers — and the variations in “car culture” around the world.” — Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Monumental… Vanderbilt marshals an impressive collection of traffic facts and the science of jams to answer seemingly Zen riddles like, ‘Why does the other lane always seem to be moving faster?’ and ‘Why do more roads always mean more traffic?’ ” — Eye Weekly (Toronto)

“Read this book: It might make you a better driver.” — Evening Standard (London)

“There are many striking revelations in Tom Vanderbilt’s Traffic…[A]n important book.” — The Times (UK)