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In the past, when there was no highway speed limit, the highway

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In the past, when there was no highway speed limit, the highway  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Oct 2017, 23:25
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Question Stats:

48% (01:53) correct 52% (02:14) wrong based on 163 sessions

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In the past, when there was no highway speed limit, the highway accident rate increased yearly, peaking a decade ago. At that time, the speed limit on highways was set at 90 kilometers per hour (kph) (55 miles per hour). Every year since the introduction of the highway speed limit, the highway accident rate has been at least 15 percent lower than that of its peak rate. Thus, setting the highway speed limit at 90 kph (55 mph) has reduced the highway accident rate by at least 15 percent.

Which one of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

(A) In the years prior to the introduction of the highway speed limit, many cars could go faster than 90 kph (55 mph).
(B) Ten years ago, at least 95 percent of all automobile accidents in the area occurred on roads with a speed limit of under 80 kph (50 mph).
(C) Although the speed limit on many highways is officially set at 90 kph (55 mph), most people typically drive faster than the speed limit.
(D) Thanks to changes in automobile design in the past ten years, drivers are better able to maintain control of their cars in dangerous situations.
(E) It was not until shortly after the introduction of the highway speed limit that most cars were equipped with features such as seat belts and airbags designed to prevent harm to passengers.

Source: LSAT

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Re: In the past, when there was no highway speed limit, the highway  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Oct 2017, 01:32
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Akela wrote:
In the past, when there was no highway speed limit, the highway accident rate increased yearly, peaking a decade ago. At that time, the speed limit on highways was set at 90 kilometers per hour (kph) (55 miles per hour). Every year since the introduction of the highway speed limit, the highway accident rate has been at least 15 percent lower than that of its peak rate. Thus, setting the highway speed limit at 90 kph (55 mph) has reduced the highway accident rate by at least 15 percent.

Which one of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?


(A) In the years prior to the introduction of the highway speed limit, many cars could go faster than 90 kph (55 mph).
Even if many cars went faster than 90 kph, setting the highway speed limit has clearly reduced the highway accident rate.

(B) Ten years ago, at least 95 percent of all automobile accidents in the area occurred on roads with a speed limit of under 80 kph (50 mph).
"Ten year ago" means "a decay ago", in which the highway accident rate wasn't set. Thus, this choice contributes nothing to the argument

(C) Although the speed limit on many highways is officially set at 90 kph (55 mph), most people typically drive faster than the speed limit.
Even if many people drive faster than the speed limit, the effect of setting highway speed limit is undeniable.

(D) Thanks to changes in automobile design in the past ten years, drivers are better able to maintain control of their cars in dangerous situations.
Correct. This choice indicates that the decrease in the highway accident rate is because of the better automobile design, not because of the highway speed limit.

(E) It was not until shortly after the introduction of the highway speed limit that most cars were equipped with features such as seat belts and airbags designed to prevent harm to passengers.
The argument focuses on the highway accident rate, including collisions, injury and death rates. Thus,
this choice contributes nothing to the argument.

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In the past, when there was no highway speed limit, the highway  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2019, 10:23
In the past, when there was no highway speed limit, the highway accident rate increased yearly, peaking a decade ago. At that time, the speed limit on highways was set at 90 kilometers per hour (kph) (55 miles per hour). Every year since the introduction of the highway speed limit, the highway accident rate has been at least 15 percent lower than that of its peak rate. Thus, setting the highway speed limit at 90 kph (55 mph) has reduced the highway accident rate by at least 15 percent.

Quick thinking: So speed limit has gone, and thus accidents have gone down This is great! But wait, we are told that this is not from the speed limit reduction, but by something else (because we have to weaken this argument, which claims it is because of the speed limit). At this point, just plow through the answers and hope something sticks out that you know can contribute to speed control. The argument basically says that the speed limit is the sole reason for the reduction, so we need to show that something else can/could contribute to it.

Which one of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

(A) In the years prior to the introduction of the highway speed limit, many cars could go faster than 90 kph (55 mph). -- Ok, who cares? So what if cars could go faster and presumably still can.
(B) Ten years ago, at least 95 percent of all automobile accidents in the area occurred on roads with a speed limit of under 80 kph (50 mph). -- We do not care about 10 years ago. Furthermore, the speed limit is lower than our current one stated, so maybe those extra 5 MPHs are the difference. Anyway, wrong.
(C) Although the speed limit on many highways is officially set at 90 kph (55 mph), most people typically drive faster than the speed limit. -- OK. This doesn't attack anything. It says no matter what, people drive faster. And what does "many" mean in terms of highways? Further, who is to say that this doesn't reduce speed in general? Either way, out.
(D) Thanks to changes in automobile design in the past ten years, drivers are better able to maintain control of their cars in dangerous situations. -- OK, so if people stay in control then their safety has nothing to do with the speed limit, but the car. Bingo!
(E) It was not until shortly after the introduction of the highway speed limit that most cars were equipped with features such as seat belts and airbags designed to prevent harm to passengers. -- This talks about post-accident (once collision has occurred) versus the pre-collision, which helps people avoid crashes in the first place. Close, but no go.
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Re: In the past, when there was no highway speed limit, the highway  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2019, 20:01
In the past, when there was no highway speed limit, the highway accident rate increased yearly, peaking a decade ago. At that time, the speed limit on highways was set at 90 kilometers per hour (kph) (55 miles per hour). Every year since the introduction of the highway speed limit, the highway accident rate has been at least 15 percent lower than that of its peak rate. Thus, setting the highway speed limit at 90 kph (55 mph) has reduced the highway accident rate by at least 15 percent.

Conclusion- setting the highway speed limit at 90 kph (55 mph) has reduced the highway accident rate by at least 15 percent.
Type-weaken
Pre-thinking- Perhaps it was a renewed sense of concern for fellow drivers. Perhaps it was those "Baby on Board" signs or a better driver training program

(A) In the years prior to the introduction of the highway speed limit, many cars could go faster than 90 kph (55 mph).- Irrelevant- Just because cars could go faster doesn't mean they did.
(B) Ten years ago, at least 95 percent of all automobile accidents in the area occurred on roads with a speed limit of under 80 kph (50 mph).- incorrect; our focus is on highway accidents, not any road accidents
(C) Although the speed limit on many highways is officially set at 90 kph (55 mph), most people typically drive faster than the speed limit.- incorrect; tells us that most people typically drive over the limit. This information does not effect the conclusion in the slightest. Since the conclusion only said that setting the legal speed limit caused the decline in accident rates, we should not assume that the speaker necessarily believes that everyone abided by that limit
(D) Thanks to changes in automobile design in the past ten years, drivers are better able to maintain control of their cars in dangerous situations.- Correct; gives us a perfect alternate cause: perhaps it was the improvement in car handling over the past ten years that caused the decrease in accidents.
(E) It was not until shortly after the introduction of the highway speed limit that most cars were equipped with features such as seat belts and airbags designed to prevent harm to passengers.- Irrelevant; has no impact on the accident rate, but only on the amount of harm done to passengers who are involved in accidents.

Answer D
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Re: In the past, when there was no highway speed limit, the highway   [#permalink] 17 Mar 2019, 20:01
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