Archive for November 15th, 2008

Driving While Male

Quality Planning, whose research shows up a bit in Traffic, has released a new study which shows that “male drivers are cited for reckless driving 3.41 times more than women.”

The data was derived thusly:

“Quality Planning said it analyzed 12 months’ of 2007 policyholder information for U.S. drivers, comparing the number of moving and nonmoving violations for both men and women. Overall, the data shows that men are much more likely to receive a traffic citation than women, and that this difference in driving behavior is consistent across all age groups.”

Men do drive more miles, of course, and I’m not sure if this was corrected for in some way (women may drive recklessly but their exposure is lower, so less chance of being caught; or maybe male traffic cops really are less likely to issue tickets to women — after all, as this study by Michael Makowsky and Thomas Strattman found, “ceteris parabis, young females have the lowest probability of receiving a speeding ticket”), but the gender difference seems much larger in any case than any mileage discrepancy.

Two other points worth noting:

“The resulting accidents caused by men lead to more expensive claims than those caused by women.”

“Women drivers were also about 27 percent less likely than men to be found at fault (1-49 percent negligent) when involved in an accident, according to the company.”

(Tap of the horn to UC-Berkeley’s Traffic Safety Center)

Posted on Saturday, November 15th, 2008 at 2:55 pm by: Tom Vanderbilt
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Selfish Commuting, Redux

Networks guru Anna Nagurney (my kind host yesterday at Amherst), lends a valuable historical perspective in a letter in the Economist, in response to their article on routing inefficiencies in road networks.

SIR – It may be of interest to your readers to know that it was actually economists who first figured out that an individual’s selfish behaviour when selecting an optimal travel route would yield different traffic flows and times than if one were to assign flows in a centralised manner to try and minimise the cost to society (“Queuing conundrums”, September 13th). Arthur Pigou wrote “The Economics of Welfare” in 1920, by which time he was well aware of the distinction between different traffic behaviours.

Curiously, traffic and queuing problems keep on getting (re)discovered by different disciplines; now it seems to be the turn of the physicists.

Anna Nagurney
Virtual Centre for Supernetworks
Isenberg School of Management
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, Massachusetts”

Posted on Saturday, November 15th, 2008 at 2:35 pm by: Tom Vanderbilt
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[jacket image]

The last time I was in Berlin, Brian Ladd’s Ghosts of Berlin was my invaluable key to the contested city’s palimpsestual history. I’ve reviewed his new book, Autophobia, in this weekend’s New York Times, and I’ll no doubt be referring to it again here. Review here or after the jump.


Posted on Saturday, November 15th, 2008 at 2:21 pm by: Tom Vanderbilt
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Traffic Tom Vanderbilt

How We Drive is the companion blog to Tom Vanderbilt’s New York Times bestselling book, Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), published by Alfred A. Knopf in the U.S. and Canada, Penguin in the U.K, and in languages other than English by a number of other fine publishers worldwide.

Please send tips, news, research papers, links, photos (bad road signs, outrageous bumper stickers, spectacularly awful acts of driving or parking or anything traffic-related), or ideas for my Transport column to me at:

For publicity inquiries, please contact Kate Runde at Vintage:

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For speaking engagement inquiries, please contact
Kim Thornton at the Random House Speakers Bureau:

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Upcoming Talks

April 9, 2008.
California Office of Traffic Safety Summit
San Francisco, CA.

May 19, 2009
University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies
Bloomington, MN

June 23, 2009
Driving Assessment 2009
Big Sky, Montana

June 26, 2009
PRI World Congress
Rotterdam, The Netherlands

June 27, 2009
Day of Architecture
Utrecht, The Netherlands

July 13, 2009
Association of Transportation Safety Information Professionals (ATSIP)
Phoenix, AZ.

August 12-14
Texas Department of Transportation “Save a Life Summit”
San Antonio, Texas

September 2, 2009
Governors Highway Safety Association Annual Meeting
Savannah, Georgia

September 11, 2009
Oregon Transportation Summit
Portland, Oregon

October 8
Honda R&D Americas
Raymond, Ohio

October 10-11
INFORMS Roundtable
San Diego, CA

October 21, 2009
California State University-San Bernardino, Leonard Transportation Center
San Bernardino, CA

November 5
Southern New England Planning Association Planning Conference
Uncasville, Connecticut

January 6
Texas Transportation Forum
Austin, TX

January 19
Yale University
(with Donald Shoup; details to come)

Monday, February 22
Yale University School of Architecture
Eero Saarinen Lecture

Friday, March 19
University of Delaware
Delaware Center for Transportation

April 5-7
University of Utah
Salt Lake City
McMurrin Lectureship

April 19
International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (Organization Management Workshop)
Austin, Texas

Monday, April 26
Edmonton Traffic Safety Conference
Edmonton, Canada

Monday, June 7
Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals
Niagara Falls, Ontario

Wednesday, July 6
Fondo de Prevención Vial
Bogotá, Colombia

Tuesday, August 31
Royal Automobile Club
Perth, Australia

Wednesday, September 1
Australasian Road Safety Conference
Canberra, Australia

Wednesday, September 22

Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s
Traffic Incident Management Enhancement Program
Statewide Conference
Wisconsin Dells, WI

Wednesday, October 20
Rutgers University
Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation
Piscataway, NJ

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Ontario Injury Prevention Resource Centre
Injury Prevention Forum

Monday, May 2
Idaho Public Driver Education Conference
Boise, Idaho

Tuesday, June 2, 2011
California Association of Cities
Costa Mesa, California

Sunday, August 21, 2011
American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Attitudes: Iniciativa Social de Audi
Madrid, Spain

April 16, 2012
Institute for Sensible Transport Seminar
Gardens Theatre, QUT
Brisbane, Australia

April 17, 2012
Institute for Sensible Transport Seminar
Centennial Plaza, Sydney
Sydney, Australia

April 19, 2012
Institute for Sensible Transport Seminar
Melbourne Town Hall
Melbourne, Australia

January 30, 2013
University of Minnesota City Engineers Association Meeting
Minneapolis, MN

January 31, 2013
Metropolis and Mobile Life
School of Architecture, University of Toronto

February 22, 2013
ISL Engineering
Edmonton, Canada

March 1, 2013
Australian Road Summit
Melbourne, Australia

May 8, 2013
New York State Association of
Transportation Engineers
Rochester, NY

August 18, 2013 “Ingenuity” Conference
San Francisco, CA

September 26, 2013
TransComm 2013
(Meeting of American Association
of State Highway and Transportation
Officials’ Subcommittee on Transportation
Grand Rapids MI



November 2008

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