132. The following appeared in a letter to the school board in the town of Centerville.
"All students should be required to take the driver's education course at Centerville High School. In the past two years, several accidents in and around Centerville have involved teenage drivers. Since a number of parents in Centerville have complained that they are too busy to teach their teenagers to drive, some other instruction is necessary to ensure that these teenagers are safe drivers. Although there are two driving schools in Centerville, parents on a tight budget cannot afford to pay for driving instruction. Therefore an effective and mandatory program sponsored by the high school is the only solution to this serious problem."
Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on these assumptions and what the implications are for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted.
The author claims that every students attending Centerville High School should take a mandatory driver’s education program to reduce car accidents rates involving teenager drivers. Since, the parents of the students do not have enough economic capabilities and luxury of time supporting this kind of training, the author’s prediction seems plausible. However, the author’s assertion is not sustainable, because it is based on numerous unwarranted assumptions.
First, the author unwarrantedly assumes that the main factor causing car accidents is carelessness of teenager drivers. Even though, teenagers are largely involved with many accidents cases, the responsibility might be upon some other factors. For example, if the road condition of Centerville has been rapidly deteriorated over two years and it became black spot for traffic accidents, road pavement process should be emergent rather than driving education. Or, if the main cause of accidents is prevalent jaywalking activities, the teenager drivers would be less responsible for the current frequency of accidents. In such cases, other factors negatively affecting driving conditions should be suppressed before enforce teenagers to attend the driving education.
Second, even if we admit the vast majority of accidents are teenage driver’s faults, it is presumptuous to require all students to attend driver training. The author falsely assume that teenage drivers are generally not qualified to drive cars, however, there is no supporting evidence of it. Maybe only small portion of the whole teenage drivers are responsible of the recent car accidents. Let’s assume that some of teenagers without driver’s license are habitually involved with care accidents. In this case, they should be only group who need driver’s education course.
Third, the author does not provide any evidence of the efficacy of the driver’s education course. Is the driver’s program proven as an effective educational program? Maybe yes. However, there is no given proof of it in the passage. Regardless of the need of driving education, it is important to certify the efficacy of the program. If the students who participate in the program will surely pay enough attention and concentration, eventually adjust their driving habits, the application of the program will be supported. However, without any precedent cases supporting positive outcome, one hardly can expect the program will be effective.
In conclusion, the author’s argument is not persuasive. There are numerous unwarranted assumptions. Such assumption might include following: the carelessness of teenager drivers cause the accidents; the average driving skills of teenagers are generally unqualified; the driving program should be effective.
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