QUESTION TEXT: Sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are, because of their…
QUESTION TYPE: Paradox
PARADOX: SUVs are safer for those riding in them, but auto safety experts say that the increase in SUV ownership is cause for worry.
ANALYSIS: In any car crash, there are two cars involved. And the argument only said that SUVs are safer for those in the SUV.
So the traffic fatality statistics could show that SUVs are safer for those in them but more dangerous for those in the other car.
- This increases the paradox. Assuming that people know SUVs are safer, this would cause people to be better at driving them. We’re looking for a reason that SUVs are dangerous.
- Fuel tank capacity isn’t relevant to safety. You might be thinking that a large fuel tank could cause larger explosions….but that’s a huge stretch.
Answers suck – don’t work so hard to prove them right.
- This seems very tempting. If vehicles carry more people, then there are more people that could die in accidents.
Careful. This answer did not say that SUVs lead to more people on the road. It’s possible that there are more people in SUVs, but fewer vehicles on the road. I.e. people could all drive in one SUV instead of two smaller cars.
So there’d be the same number of people driving, and no greater risk.
It’s also possible that people are switching from other large vehicles (such as vans) to SUVs. So there’d be no change in average passenger distribution.
In any case, it is not a reasonable assumption that a high average number of people in SUVs leads to more people on the road.
- CORRECT. This shows that SUVs may be safer for those in them, but also more likely to cause damage to people in other cars.
- This has no impact. If SUVs are as likely to be involved in accidents, then that eliminates a possible difference. We want to show a difference!
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