> > Statistically, no, since each event (trip) is independent. The odds of getting
> > into an accident on any given trip are the same whether it's the first one or
> > the 100,000th one (inexperience and old age notwithstanding (withstanding, you
> > get a bathtub curve)). It's like flipping a coin: it's very unlikely that 157
> > coins spun consecutively will come down heads 157 consecutive times (unless your
> > name is Rosencrantz), but the odds for each individual coin toss are still
> > 50/50.
> So since it's unlikely that you'll flip heads 157 times in a row, and you're
> more likely to hit a tails, what is that?
No. -nt- The two statements are not mutually exclusive. 157 heads in a row is exteremely unlikely, but you still have a 50/50 shot of getting 158. Previous spins have no effect on current spins. Yes, it does seem contradictory, but it isn't. Maybe it'd be more clear if I used the true odds of getting into an accident (placed arbitrarily at, say, one in ten million for each trip). At those odds, you stand a pretty good chance of racking up 25+ years of driving without an accident.
> > Also, driving isn't a pure game of random chance. Driver skill, state of mind,
> > chemical level, etc. all come into play, all of which have a profound effect on
> > the odds.
> I'm no traffic expert, and I'm sure most accidents are typical fender benders,
> but there's no way you can account for every person and situation on the road.
> Nor could you avoid every one, regardless of your skill and state of mind. The
> chance is there every single time you enter the car that some crazed maniac
> running from the cops is going to run over you in a garbage truck.
I never said the odds drop to zero. What I'm talking about is the avoidable stuff. That's why I said "not a pure game of random chance." The unavoidable stuff is random, but the avoidable stuff is not. IMNSHO, the truly unavoidable stuff is relatively rare anyway.