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Are you a good driver?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Are you a good driver?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
February 15, 2011

Of course, you are. Do you know anyone who has ever admitted that he (or she) is not a good driver?

Recently a book was recommended to me and, fortunately, the Woodstock Public Library had it on its shelf. The book? TRAFFIC - Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), by Tom Vanderbilt (Alfred A. Knopf (2008)).

I heartily recommend this book to all drivers, whether you are highly experienced, just "experienced", novice, or student. Whether you are a trucker with over 1,000,000 miles of safe, accident-free driving or a student who has just received his first student permit, there are ideas in this book to help you.

In one of the first sections of the book Vanderbilt discusses Late Mergers. You know the ones he means; right? On the highway, when approaching a construction zone or other "lane drop", those drivers who don't move over until the last minute. I've always been the one who stays in the lane that's ending until reaching the final Merge sign, sometimes feeling a little guilty as I pass all those drivers who moved over and are now stopped and (im)patiently waiting for the cars ahead to move. Vanderbilt writes about why it's okay to use the empty lane.

From time to time I've encountered the "vigilante" who moves over and blocks the empty lane, and Vanderbilt writes about him, too.

Vanderbilt devotes considerable early space to DriveCamâ„¢, a video-recording system that can be installed in cars and trucks to record the driver and the front view. Watch the video on its website at www.drivecam.com/, where a driver is signaling a left turn on a multi-lane highway and then suddenly makes a right-turn in front of the trucker.

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