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This past holiday weekend, the number of traffic accidents

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This past holiday weekend, the number of traffic accidents [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2017, 01:36
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  55% (hard)

Question Stats:

52% (01:17) correct 48% (01:15) wrong based on 284 sessions

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This past holiday weekend, the number of traffic accidents that occurred on a particular stretch of Highway 79 was 25 percent lower than the corresponding number of accidents last year in the same location over the same holiday weekend. This is good evidence that the Highway Patrol’s publicity campaign against speeding has resulted in safer driving habits among motorists.

Which of the following is assumed in reaching the conclusion above?

(A) Traffic accident rates on the particular stretch of Highway 79 will continue to drop as long as the Highway Patrol’s publicity campaign continues.
(B) The two holiday weekends cover exactly the same calendar dates.
(C) Highway Patrol cars are patrolling the particular stretch of Highway 79 more frequently.
(D) The total number of miles driven on the particular stretch of Highway 79 has not decreased 25% or more since last year.
(E) A reduction in speeding is the only driving habit that has improved since last year.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: This past holiday weekend, the number of traffic accidents [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2017, 02:03
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rohan2345 wrote:
This past holiday weekend, the number of traffic accidents that occurred on a particular stretch of Highway 79 was 25 percent lower than the corresponding number of accidents last year in the same location over the same holiday weekend. This is good evidence that the Highway Patrol’s publicity campaign against speeding has resulted in safer driving habits among motorists.

Which of the following is assumed in reaching the conclusion above?

(A) Traffic accident rates on the particular stretch of Highway 79 will continue to drop as long as the Highway Patrol’s publicity campaign continues.
(B) The two holiday weekends cover exactly the same calendar dates.
(C) Highway Patrol cars are patrolling the particular stretch of Highway 79 more frequently.
(D) The total number of miles driven on the particular stretch of Highway 79 has not decreased 25% or more since last year.
(E) A reduction in speeding is the only driving habit that has improved since last year.


OA is nt very convincing. There is no information in passage that suggests that a decrease in the number of miles driven causes a relatively lower number of accidents.

Can you post the OE

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Re: This past holiday weekend, the number of traffic accidents [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2017, 02:38
goforgmat wrote:
rohan2345 wrote:
This past holiday weekend, the number of traffic accidents that occurred on a particular stretch of Highway 79 was 25 percent lower than the corresponding number of accidents last year in the same location over the same holiday weekend. This is good evidence that the Highway Patrol’s publicity campaign against speeding has resulted in safer driving habits among motorists.

Which of the following is assumed in reaching the conclusion above?

(A) Traffic accident rates on the particular stretch of Highway 79 will continue to drop as long as the Highway Patrol’s publicity campaign continues.
(B) The two holiday weekends cover exactly the same calendar dates.
(C) Highway Patrol cars are patrolling the particular stretch of Highway 79 more frequently.
(D) The total number of miles driven on the particular stretch of Highway 79 has not decreased 25% or more since last year.
(E) A reduction in speeding is the only driving habit that has improved since last year.


OA is nt very convincing. There is no information in passage that suggests that a decrease in the number of miles driven causes a relatively lower number of accidents.

Can you post the OE


Hi goforgmat,

Sure. This question is from NOVA GMAT Book. In my opinion, this is a defender assumption question. These assumptions contain statement that eliminate ideas or assertions that would undermine the conclusion. In this sense they defend the argument by showing that the possible source of attack has been eliminated.

Here is the official explanation.

This is a case of All-Things-Being-Equal. In order to attribute the reduction in accidents to the Highway Patrol’s Publicity campaign, we must remove the possibility of alternative explanations. Choice (D) removes one such explanation—that the decrease in accidents could have been due to a decrease in driving on the highway. The answer is (D).

Hope this helps. All the best.
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Re: This past holiday weekend, the number of traffic accidents [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2017, 22:56
rohan2345 wrote:
goforgmat wrote:
rohan2345 wrote:
This past holiday weekend, the number of traffic accidents that occurred on a particular stretch of Highway 79 was 25 percent lower than the corresponding number of accidents last year in the same location over the same holiday weekend. This is good evidence that the Highway Patrol’s publicity campaign against speeding has resulted in safer driving habits among motorists.

Which of the following is assumed in reaching the conclusion above?

(A) Traffic accident rates on the particular stretch of Highway 79 will continue to drop as long as the Highway Patrol’s publicity campaign continues.
(B) The two holiday weekends cover exactly the same calendar dates.
(C) Highway Patrol cars are patrolling the particular stretch of Highway 79 more frequently.
(D) The total number of miles driven on the particular stretch of Highway 79 has not decreased 25% or more since last year.
(E) A reduction in speeding is the only driving habit that has improved since last year.


OA is nt very convincing. There is no information in passage that suggests that a decrease in the number of miles driven causes a relatively lower number of accidents.

Can you post the OE


Hi goforgmat,

Sure. This question is from NOVA GMAT Book. In my opinion, this is a defender assumption question. These assumptions contain statement that eliminate ideas or assertions that would undermine the conclusion. In this sense they defend the argument by showing that the possible source of attack has been eliminated.

Here is the official explanation.

This is a case of All-Things-Being-Equal. In order to attribute the reduction in accidents to the Highway Patrol’s Publicity campaign, we must remove the possibility of alternative explanations. Choice (D) removes one such explanation—that the decrease in accidents could have been due to a decrease in driving on the highway. The answer is (D).

Hope this helps. All the best.

I have a question here. There could be 2 possibilities
-> Total number of miles driven == total distance traveled by a single car.
-> Total number of miles driven == total distance traveled by all the cars in 1 year.
While logically the 2nd scenario results and is indicative of, the 1st scenario can't be ruled out entirely. This leads to disparity in the interpretation of answer choice.

Could you please clarify this?
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Re: This past holiday weekend, the number of traffic accidents [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2017, 22:40
Why can't the answer be E? If there are other driving habits that have improved during the year, then the argument that highway patrol reducing incidents of speeding is the reason for less accidents during the holiday season becomes shaky. Maybe less accidents could be caused by more severe drunk driving penalties, or drivers using turn signals more often, etc. In addition, answer D makes a broad statement about the miles driven on the highway, not specifically about miles driven on the highway for just the holiday weekend. Even if I negate answer D, and say that miles driven over the highway has decreased 25% or more since last year, that does not necessarily mean that miles driven on the highway during the holiday weekend has decreased by 25% or more. I feel like in a different question, D could have been a trap answer, with the rationale that the test-take shouldn't use a general statement and assume it applies it to a specific situation.

Anyone have any thoughts?

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Re: This past holiday weekend, the number of traffic accidents [#permalink]

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New post 25 Aug 2017, 05:30
jy295 wrote:
Why can't the answer be E? If there are other driving habits that have improved during the year, then the argument that highway patrol reducing incidents of speeding is the reason for less accidents during the holiday season becomes shaky. Maybe less accidents could be caused by more severe drunk driving penalties, or drivers using turn signals more often, etc. In addition, answer D makes a broad statement about the miles driven on the highway, not specifically about miles driven on the highway for just the holiday weekend. Even if I negate answer D, and say that miles driven over the highway has decreased 25% or more since last year, that does not necessarily mean that miles driven on the highway during the holiday weekend has decreased by 25% or more. I feel like in a different question, D could have been a trap answer, with the rationale that the test-take shouldn't use a general statement and assume it applies it to a specific situation.

Anyone have any thoughts?


I agree. I also thought the same. The author seems to assume that there is only one factor which reduced the number of accidents. And E states this.

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Re: This past holiday weekend, the number of traffic accidents [#permalink]

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New post 25 Aug 2017, 05:46
Lets use the negation technique with options (D) and (E)

(D) The total number of miles driven on the particular stretch of Highway 79 has decreased 25% or more since last year.

=> Lesser distance traveled => lesser accidents => Safe because of other reason but speeding => Makes the conclusion invalid.

(E) A reduction in speeding is the NOT only driving habit that has improved since last year.

=> Other factors have also improved => Does not affect the conclusion in any way.

Hence, the answer is (D)

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Re: This past holiday weekend, the number of traffic accidents [#permalink]

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New post 25 Aug 2017, 09:33
This past holiday weekend, the number of traffic accidents that occurred on a particular stretch of Highway 79 was 25 percent lower than the corresponding number of accidents last year in the same location over the same holiday weekend. This is good evidence that the Highway Patrol’s publicity campaign against speeding has resulted in safer driving habits among motorists.

Which of the following is assumed in reaching the conclusion above?

(A) Traffic accident rates on the particular stretch of Highway 79 will continue to drop as long as the Highway Patrol’s publicity campaign continues. -This is just a fact set. If the accidents will continue to drop, it has nothing to do with the argument.
(B) The two holiday weekends cover exactly the same calendar dates. -We already know this information from the argument above.
(C) Highway Patrol cars are patrolling the particular stretch of Highway 79 more frequently. -Okay, this is again a fact set.
(D) The total number of miles driven on the particular stretch of Highway 79 has not decreased 25% or more since last year. -Correct. If the number of miles driven has reduced, then we can't say that the campaign has impacted the drivers.
(E) A reduction in speeding is the only driving habit that has improved since last year. -Okay, this is a fact set. We are not worried about which driving habit has improved over the time.
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Re: This past holiday weekend, the number of traffic accidents [#permalink]

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New post 03 Sep 2017, 01:43
senti_pra wrote:
Lets use the negation technique with options (D) and (E)

(D) The total number of miles driven on the particular stretch of Highway 79 has decreased 25% or more since last year.

=> Lesser distance traveled => lesser accidents => Safe because of other reason but speeding => Makes the conclusion invalid.

(E) A reduction in speeding is the NOT only driving habit that has improved since last year.

=> Other factors have also improved => Does not affect the conclusion in any way.

Hence, the answer is (D)


Does "improved driving habits" not mean that other reasons also involved in lesser accidents than just Highway Patrol’s publicity campaign???

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This past holiday weekend, the number of traffic accidents [#permalink]

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New post 03 Sep 2017, 02:48
shalabhg27 wrote:
Does "improved driving habits" not mean that other reasons also involved in lesser accidents than just Highway Patrol’s publicity campaign???


Hi,

My 2 cents: I would suggest you to try to understand the premise first. Keep the negation technique for times when you are stuck between difficult choices.

Such as, in option "E" - A reduction in speeding is the only driving habit that has improved since last year - the option is concerned about the driving habits that have improved over the time. However, we are not concerned about which habits have changed over a period of time. What if I have started using the seat belt, driving slower than before and using indicators. These things don't matter here. Our argument is that the campaign was successful against SPEEDING. So we are not worried about the other factors. We only need to concentrate on what the argument is about.

So even without using the negation you can safely discard option E.

Negation is a handy technique, but over-dependence might be time consuming. Plus, you need to arrive at correct negation. If you negate an option wrongly, you will end up with a wrong answer.

Hope that helps.
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This past holiday weekend, the number of traffic accidents   [#permalink] 03 Sep 2017, 02:48
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