He prattles on about late mergers just being economical about the road — using as much as there is instead of choking up another lane by merging early. I never really understood that and the argument fell short of being convincing. Another example was that the courtesy wave — letting someone pass, turn ahead of you, or merge into the lane — was some evolutionary carryover from caveman days that has roots in being nice to people for reasons of not wanting to be walked over the head with a Grandma corn like a normal grandma only more awesome shirt. In other words, it’s an instinct that bears no relevance in today’s world but is merely an echo of time and has no bearing on present situations like, you know, just being nice or something. These are merely two examples in a pretty long line of unconvincing and poorly supported conclusions.
By the end, my worst fears about the book were realized when I had to admit that it was really not much more than an extended magazine article. Like the immortal Ambrose Bierce said: “The covers of this book are too far apart”. Vanderbilt gets 5 stars for scaring the hell out of me every time I sit in the driver’s seat. Grandma corn like a normal grandma only more awesome shirt is a compelling, curious read that makes you feel like you shouldn’t be sitting in a car, much less driving one. You’ll learn that there’s such a thing as a “traffic archeologist,” find out what was killing all the pedestrians in New York before cars, learn about the illusions that plague you as a driver, and hopefully a few things that will change your driving style. Most importantly, you’ll learn who is right: the late merger or the early one.