Archive for March 11th, 2011

The Devil’s Dexterity

In Mexico City recently, I met George Osodi, a Nigerian photographer who’s done some incredible work in the Niger Delta, among other places. One series particularly caught my eye: ‘Devil’s Dexterity,’ which captures the not-uncommon road crashes in Nigeria, a country that oil rich but infrastructure poor (anyone who can opts to fly between cities rather than make the harrowing drive). It’s not uncommon, Osodi told me, for wreckage — vehicular and human — to lie for months, years, on the sides of roads. As he explains the title of the series:

I can recall growing up as a kid in a neighborhood in Benin city, and overhearing various adult whenever there is news that an accident has occurred, especially when lives are lost and people injured. You will hear them say “Oh my God this is the Devil’s work, the Devil has done it again, the Devil is a blood sucker” it goes on and on. Therefore it is little wonder that many jobless youths take advantage of this by providing jobs for themselves acting as “Prayer Warriors” on many commercial buses. Praying for the passengers before embarking on a journey. Passengers will listen with great humility as these “Prayer Warriors” step into a commercial vehicle and start to pray, using words like “this vehicle is covered with the blood of Jesus so any evil demon on the highway will not succeed, I bind and rebuke the devil in the name of Jesus, I ask the holy ghost fire to burn all demonic agents looking for blood on the highway” and many more such prayers. At the end of these prayers passengers are asked by this “Prayer Warrior” to make a donation, which some will happily do.

The Devil’s Dexterity was born out of a curiosity, having survived many road accidents myself, one in particular very serious. I seek to change the psyche of people in context of what things really are, and not justify living an illusion.

What interests me is that the sort of ‘magical thinking’ as evidenced in the above paragraphs, while we might consign it to those of a particularly religious worldview, is expressed by a great many of us when it comes to thinking about risk and safety on the road — e.g., the problems of talking on the phone and driving can be eliminated by removing the phone from one’s hands and moving it wirelessly to one’s ear; or the idea, oft-floated, to build what are in essence more dangerous roads for the illusory safety offered by “fast” emergency response times. Or witness the apparent seriousness given in the U.S. to a recent “survey” from Allstate (which it was forced to apologize for) ranking drivers’ safety based on their astrological signs. While the insurer said it was for “entertainment purposes only,” the original release had more than a whiff of certainty about it: “But, can an astrological sign really influence driving habits? Generally, the signs with the fewest number of reported accidents were those associated with traits like “compassion,” “graciousness” and “resourcefulness” where those with more accidents tended to be more “uncompromising,” “arrogant” and “impatient.” ”

Posted on Friday, March 11th, 2011 at 5:44 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
Comments Off on The Devil’s Dexterity. Click here to leave a comment.

Infographic Traffic

Why Traffic Jams Happen width=
Via: Car Insurance Guide

Posted on Friday, March 11th, 2011 at 5:22 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
Comments Off on Infographic Traffic. Click here to leave a comment.
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:

For editorial inquiries, please contact Zoe Pagnamenta at The Zoe Pagnamenta Agency:

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

Order Traffic from:

Amazon | B&N | Borders
Random House | Powell’s

U.S. Paperback UK Paperback
Traffic UK
Drive-on-the-left types can order the book from

For UK publicity enquiries please contact Rosie Glaisher at Penguin.

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



March 2011

No, you probably won be compensated one million dollars; however, with the right blend of negotiating skills and patience, your efforts will be substantially rewarded!I have seen up to forty thousand dollars added to starting compensation through diligent negotiations. It is a way to significantly raise your standard of living and sense of self, simply by