As the old saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished. Unfortunately, it’s just that theory that makes us otherwise proud Americans among the worst drivers around the globe – so says author and traffic pundit Tom Vanderbilt.
There are a few things that America is pretty good at. We’re the entertainment capital of the world, we invented the iPod and the polio vaccine, and we grill a mean hotdog. Unfortunately, we kind of suck at driving. While presenting at the recent Boing Boing: Ingenuity Conference in San Francisco, Vanderbilt explained that Americans simply fail to see the big picture when it comes to effectively traversing our highways and byways – and that, apparently, is what pulls the linchpin right out of smooth traffic.
Vanderbilt is the author of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), a matter-of-fact manual that details how the best traffic patterns and procedures work and just how we manage to wonk it all up on a daily basis. Here are a few helpful tidbits:
Vanderbilt is a big proponent of self-driving cars, claiming they could reduce the rate of auto accidents by upward of 80 percent and potentially eliminate traffic jams altogether. What do you think, E3 Spark Plugs fans? Have you read Vanderbilt’s book? Do you zipper? Have you been a victim of bumper sticker rage (or so you thought)? Let us know via the E3 Spark Plugs Facebook Fan Page.