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The number of fatal car accidents nationwide has risen 18% over the past five years. This statistic coincides with a marked increased in smartphone use over the same time period, and with an accompanying rise in the number of drivers who text or browse the Internet on their phones while on the road. A nationwide study found that fully 60% of fatal traffic accidents involved a driver who was texting or browsing at the time of the incident. Laws exist in many states that outlaw smartphone use while driving. However, to prevent a further rise in smartphone-related accidents, penalties should be strengthened to further deter drivers from partaking in such dangerous activities.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the claim that penalties should be increased for drivers who are caught texting or browsing the Internet?


The study only dealt with male drivers aged 18-24 living in major metropolitan areas.


The number of cars on the road nationwide increased 22% during the past seven years.


The study found that, of the 60% of drivers who were using a smartphone and were involved in a fatal car accident, 75% of them were also lost or seeking directions at the time of the incident.


The study found that in fatal traffic accidents involving smartphones, the driver using the smartphone survived the incident over 60% of the time, and either a passenger, a driver of another vehicle, or a pedestrian died in the other 40% of incidents.


Other studies have shown that increasing the penalty for committing a crime decreases the likelihood that someone will choose to commit it.

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