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Answers to the MOTOR Quiz

Question 2

    Score yourself correct if you chose (C) or (D).

    Actually, this is interesting. Safety was an important factor in the design of the Interstate Highway System, and those in charge figured that the straighter the road, the safer it would be. The nation's first limited access highwaythe Pennsylvania Turnpikeboasted one stretch of road that went for 40 miles with just one slight bend.

    But when the accident figures came in, there was a surprise: the highest rate of accidents occurred along those flat straight stretches of road the engineers had so carefully designed. They hadn't considered the boredom factor. Those long straight roads lulled drivers into insensibility, and too often they drifted off the road or into another vehicle. Paradoxically, curvy roads turned out to be safer than straight ones. 

    When that began to sink in, newer interstates were designed with bends and curvesmore than were really necessary to get the road from one place to another. Hence, the correct answers: if you come upon an unconscionably long stretch of straight interstate it's because of (D) a misguided faith in straight long boring roads or (C) a failure of the imagination in how to add curves to this particular road.

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