QUESTION TEXT: More pedestrian injuries occur at crosswalks marked…
QUESTION TYPE: Flawed Reasoning
CONCLUSION: The “safety” features are useless.
REASONING: Most pedestrian injuries happen at cross-walks with “safety” features.
ANALYSIS: This argument mixes up relative and absolute. Safety features improve relative safety. That means they make you safer.
Meanwhile, the safety of the crosswalks is absolute. They are either “safe” or “unsafe”. So, the crosswalks in question could be extremely dangerous (an absolute measure). That’s why they have safety features. The features make them safer, but not safe.
My explanation may seem rather abstract, but once you grasp this relative/absolute difference, you’ll see it everywhere. Think deeply about this one. Here are some examples.
“You are safer with a fire extinguisher in a burning building, but you are not safe.”
“You are less healthy if you skip the gym one week, but you are probably not unhealthy.”
- CORRECT. If the safety features are placed only at the most dangerous intersections, then maybe those intersections would be even more dangerous without the features.
- This isn’t a flaw! If a safety feature really did fail to prevent injuries, why would we want it?
- The argument didn’t say this! No other safety features were mentioned. For a flaw answer to be correct, it has to happen.
- Think about what this answer really means. It’s insane. If the sidewalks in question have no other safety features, that means that every sidewalk in the country with stripes and flashing lights literally has no other features, such as a crosswalk sign.
The author didn’t assume this, and I don’t know why they would. You have to take answers literally. This one is rather extreme.
- Totally irrelevant. The author doesn’t say anything about injuries to drivers.
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