The Infinite Improbability Drive

Filed under: @ 12:59 pm

There are 22 controlled intersections on the approximately 10 mile route that I drive home from work, 25 on the route I drive to work (don’t ask why I take a different route to work than I do to get home, it’ll just make you dizzy).
So seeing as there are literally millions of variables, starting with the simple: i.e. the light being either red or green (I count amber as “red”) and expanding to the incredibly complex: i.e. the amount of traffic going in the same direction that I am, the amount of traffic going in the perpendicular direction, and, to a certain extent, the time of day that I leave work….

What are the odds that I’ll catch every single one of those damnable traffic lights RED? And, if we assume the odds as being fairly equal that I’d catch every single one of them green, why is it that I seem to catch them all red one hell of a lot more often than I catch every single one of them green?

Since I started keeping track about 18 months ago I have had an entirely green trip exactly once. I have had entirely red trips maybe as often as once a month.
If there’s someone out there with a better head for statistics and probabilities than I, I would welcome an attempt to explain. Just the thought of trying to put together the mathematics of this makes me want to hide in a corner and whimper.

I think I need more tea. 😛

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