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#25 - In a car accident, air bags greatly reduce the risk of

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I'm confused about why B is wrong and D is correct... In fact, I don't really understand what D is saying. C makes sense b/c perhaps cars without airbags are less likely to get into accidents bc some cars without airbags could have other features protecting them from injury?

Super confused!

Rachael Wilkenfeld
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Hi Akansha,

The stimulus here says that because cars without airbags are less likely to be in a car accident than cars with airbags, cars with airbags are no safer than cars without airbags. Upon reading it, I immediately note that it sounds wrong. In fact, they gave no indication of how they determined "safer." Are they only considering frequency of accidents? What about severity of injuries? Or frequency of fatalities? These would all seem relevant for an overall determination of "safer."

With answer choice (B) it doesn't deny the possibility that cars without airbags have other safety features. It doesn't discuss this at all.

With regard to answer choice (C) it doesn't overlook the possibility that any given accident could include both cars with airbags and cars without. It acknowledges that cars with and without airbags get into accidents. The question is if the frequency of those accidents is the determiner of safety ratings.

Answer choice (D) is the only answer to addresses the determination of "safety." It describes the flaw as assuming that the frequency of an accident was at least as important as other factors in determining relative safety.

Hope that helps!
LSAT Master
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Oh ok, I think I saw "denies the possibility" as meaning they "overlooked it" since they didnt really talk about it. But I guess "denying" means that they outwardly oppose it in the stimulus
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Could someone please break down exactly what D does to the stimulus? Also, if D weren't an option would there be a second best answer choice, or do all of the others not identify vulnerabilities?
Adam Tyson
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The author determines that cars without airbags are safer solely on the grounds that they are in fewer accidents, without considering any other factors that might apply to the issue of overall safety. I have fewer accidents with chainsaws than I do with butter knives - does that mean chainsaws are safer than butter knives? No, because while I may have fewer chainsaw accidents, the few I have are much, much worse!

That's what answer D is doing - pointing out that the author thought the likelihood of an accident occurring is at least as important, and maybe more important, than how bad those accidents might be for the occupants of the cars. He failed to consider the relative severity of the injuries the different passengers might suffer. Maybe people in cars with airbags get bumps and bruises, and passengers in cars without airbags lose limbs or die? That would be important to know in judging overall safety of the two types of cars!

If answer D was not an option, they would have to give us another one, because there is no second best among the remaining answers. They are all 100% wrong answers, because none of them describes a problem in the argument.
Adam M. Tyson
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