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# The average age and racing experience of the drivers at the

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Intern
Joined: 05 Jul 2011
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Schools: Ohio State University
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The average age and racing experience of the drivers at the [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2011, 00:02
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Question Stats:

60% (02:46) correct 40% (01:45) wrong based on 210 sessions

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The average age and racing experience of the drivers at the Indianapolis 500 automobile race increased each year between 1965 and 1980. The reason for the increase is that high-speed racing drivers were living longer than their predecessors. Race-car safety features that reduced the severity of crashes of the kind that formerly took drivers' lives were primarily responsible for the increase in the average age of the Indianapolis 500 competitor.

Which of the following, if true, would be most likely to be part of the evidence used to show that safety features on the cars that protected dribers in major crashes were responsible for the increase in the average age of drivers at the Indianapolis race?

(A) Younger drivers at high-speed racetracks were involves in major accidents at a slightly higher rate than were older drivers between 1965 and 1980.
(B) Major accidents on high-speed racetracks occurred at about the same frequency in the years after 1965 as in the years before 1965.
(C) The average age of drivers attempting to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 decreased slightly between 1965 and 1980.
(D) Accidents on highways in the United States occurred at about the same frequency in the years after 1965 and 1980.
(E) Other safety features, involving the condition of the racetrack and the uniforms worn by the drivers while driving, were adopted at Indianapolis between 1965 nd 1980.

Can anyone tell me why the OA is correct? To me, the OA weaken the argument rather support it.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Re: Indianapolis 500 auto race [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2011, 00:16
826goodluck wrote:
The average age and racing experience of the drivers at the Indianapolis 500 automobile race increased each year between 1965 and 1980. The reason for the increase is that high-speed racing drivers were living longer than their predecessors. Race-car safety features that reduced the severity of crashes of the kind that formerly took drivers' lives were primarily responsible for the increase in the average age of the Indianapolis 500 competitor.

Which of the following, if true, would be most likely to be part of the evidence used to show that safety features on the cars that protected dribers in major crashes were responsible for the increase in the average age of drivers at the Indianapolis race?

(A) Younger drivers at high-speed racetracks were involves in major accidents at a slightly higher rate than were older drivers between 1965 and 1980.
(B) Major accidents on high-speed racetracks occurred at about the same frequency in the years after 1965 as in the years before 1965.
(C) The average age of drivers attempting to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 decreased slightly between 1965 and 1980.
(D) Accidents on highways in the United States occurred at about the same frequency in the years after 1965 and 1980.
(E) Other safety features, involving the condition of the racetrack and the uniforms worn by the drivers while driving, were adopted at Indianapolis between 1965 nd 1980.

Can anyone tell me why the OA is correct? To me, the OA weaken the argument rather support it.

Has to be B.

The statements says 'Major accidents on high-speed racetracks occurred at about the same frequency in the years after 1965 as in the years before 1965'

Assume 100 Major accidents used to take place before 1965 and about 60 drivers used to die = 60%

B tells us that 'Major accidents on high-speed racetracks occurred at about the same frequency

so if after 1965 also there were 100 Major accidents and only 20 drivers die = 20%

This clearly shows the safety features in cars protected the drivers.
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Re: Indianapolis 500 auto race [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2011, 00:31
Awesome point!
At first, I thought if the accident frequency was the same as before, then the safety feature must not take effect to reduce accidents. I just ignore the the fact that not all accidents lead people to die.
By the way, 'Major accidents on high-speed racetracks occurred at about the same frequency in the years after 1965 as in the years before 1965' can be a Defender, because it eliminates the possiblity of reducing accident, which maybe the reason for the increase in driver's age.
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Re: Indianapolis 500 auto race [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2011, 12:42
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OA has to be B. If accidents were occurring at the same rate before and after 1965 (when the safety features were introduced), this means something happened after 1965 so as to reduce the death rate. What was this something? The introduction of safety features in cars.
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Re: Indianapolis 500 auto race [#permalink]

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07 Aug 2011, 03:22
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Re: The average age and racing experience of the drivers at the [#permalink]

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24 Aug 2012, 02:44
This is a strengthen question type as well as a cause-effect question. It is important to understand some of the assumptions that the person making a cause-and-effect argument makes. The speaker believes that the named cause is the only thing that produces the effect. Understanding this assumption is key to eliminating wrong answer choices as well as matching the right one.

Therefore, to support the adduced cause-and-effect argument, we have the following options:
* Show that the effect does not happen when the cause does not happen or vice versa (which is essentially the same thing, anyway)
* Show that effect is not caused an alternative cause.
* Show that the reverse is not true, i.e. the attributed cause itself is not actually an effect caused by the supposed effect
* Show that the two events are not a mere correlation
* Show that a third event does not cause the two events to happen
* Show that the data/sample used in making the cause-and-effect assertion is valid (not flawed or unrepresentative of the broader claim)

Back to the question: The conclusion essentially says that improved car safety caused average age to increase. How do we support this claim? Well, by finding an answer choice that does any (or a combination of the above listed items).

Option B bolsters the argument by defending the argument against any claim that the increase in average driver age was caused by a reduction in the frequency of accidents. In other words, to support the argument that car safety measures had increased the average age of drivers, option B rules out the possibility that that increase may have been brought by a reduction in the frequency of accidents between 1965 and 1980.

If you were tempted to choose answer A, read more closely and you will realize that it actually weakens (not support) the argument, because it is essentially saying that older drivers are less frequently involved in accidents (compared to younger drivers), resulting in an increase in driver age since many more younger drivers may be dying from accidents than the older ones are. Hope this helps.

Kudos, if you find this insightful.

Cheers,
Der alte Fritz
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Re: The average age and racing experience of the drivers at the [#permalink]

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02 Jul 2014, 00:45
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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Re: The average age and racing experience of the drivers at the   [#permalink] 02 Jul 2014, 00:45
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# The average age and racing experience of the drivers at the

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