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Critical Reasoning: Conclusion Strengthening Questions

Two years ago, the number of people involved in car accidents in Terribilia was 345. Last year, the number increased to 435 people. We can conclude that the number of people involved in car accidents is on an upward trend and the number will be even higher this year.

Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the above conclusion?

Incorrect.

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This answer choice weakens the conclusion by providing an alternative explanation to the rise in the number of people involved in car accidents: there was a specific accident in which many people were involved. As this event (a chain accident) only happened once in all of Terribilia's years, it reduces the chances that the numbers will be higher yet next year.

Incorrect.

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This answer choice weakens the conclusion by attacking its underlying assumption, showing that there is no consistent pattern of an annual increase in the number of people involved in car accidents. Since the conclusion uses the word trend, the changes in the figures must be consistent.

Very good!

[[snippet]]

This answer choice directly strengthens the conclusion since the word trend (mentioned in the conclusion) can be defined as a steady increase over time.

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

This answer choice neither weakens nor strengthens the conclusion. The severity of injuries is irrelevant. Only the number of people involved in car accidents is relevant since it is the only factor discussed in by the conclusion.

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

This answer choice neither weakens nor strengthens the conclusion. Work-related accidents are irrelevant. Only the number of people involved in car accidents is relevant since it is the main factor discussed in the conclusion.

Last year, Terribilia experienced its first ever chain accident, in which almost a hundred people were involved.
The number of people involved in car accidents in Terribilia has been steadily increasing over the past decade.
Three years ago, the number of people involved in car accidents in Terriblia was 521.
58% of the people who were involved in car accidents last year in Terribilia sustained minor injuries only.   
The number of people involved in work-related accidents in Terriblia has remained the same in the past two years.