Provinces and States Car Safety Requirements Debate

Understanding the Debate on Car Safety Requirements

Provinces and states with stringent car safety requirements, including required use of seat belts and annual safety inspections, have on average higher rates of accidents per kilometer driven than do provinces and states with less stringent requirements. Nevertheless, most highway safety experts agree that more stringent requirements do reduce accident rates.

Which one of the following, if true, most helps to reconcile the safety experts' belief with the apparently contrary evidence described above?

A. Annual safety inspections ensure that car tires are replaced before they grow old.
B. Drivers often become overconfident after their cars have passed a thorough safety inspection.
C. The roads in provinces and states with stringent car safety programs are far more congested and therefore dangerous than in other provinces and states.
D. Psychological studies show that drivers who regularly wear seat belts often come to think of themselves as serious drivers, which for a few people discourages reckless driving.
E. Provinces and states with stringent car safety requirements have, on average, many more kilometers of roads then do other provinces and states.

Answer: C.
Explanation: If true, states that have more congested roads are more likely to have more accidents. It is the government's job to create laws that have more stringent safety requirements in order to lower the number of accidents. It is a case of false correlation, where it seems like something is caused by a strict number correlation between two variables, but it is actually the opposite: it is the high number of accidents that leads to stringent safety requirements, not the opposite.

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