Almost every family has a few cars nowadays. There are too many cars in the streets and that is why accidents happen very often. Drivers try to overtake (= come from behind and move in front of) other cars because they are in a hurry. They speed up (= go faster) and they often exceed the speed limit (= go faster than they officially can). If they want to slow down (= drive more slowly), they have to brake (= make a car go slower or stop). Sometimes their cars skid (= drivers lose control because they drive on something slippery), especially if the road is icy, and they crash into (= hit) other cars. Head-on collisions (= accidents in which the fronts of two vehicles hit each other) are the most dangerous situations on the road.
More contexts for the new words:
- I have to fill my car up.
(= I have to go to the petrol station because I have no gas.)
- She reversed the car into the parking space.
(= She drove backwards)
- Does your car have four or five gears?
(= something that controls how much power from an engine goes to the moving parts of a machine)
Use the words from the text to complete the story.
I was driving not too fast, careful not to (1) e………………………… the speed limit, when I saw a car in front of me which was going much slower. I decided to (2) o………………………… it (its speed was much too slow for me), and I shifted into a higher (3) g………………………… in order to go speed (4) ………………………… . Suddenly I saw a big truck coming towards me. I tried to (5) b…………………………, but I couldn’t slow down because there was lots of water on the road. I (6) s………………………… and crashed (7) ………………………… a tree. I was lucky I did not have a head-(8) ………………………… collision with the truck!
Match phrases from the two columns to make questions and then answer them.
- How much does it cost a. does your/ your friend’s car have?
- Have you ever seen b. to fill up a car in Poland?
- How many gears c. to brake?
- Which pedal do you use d. a head-on collision?
ENGLISH IN USE
Let’s look at the first sentence of the text:
Almost every family has a few cars nowadays.
„A few” is an expression which is used only with countable nouns and it means „between 2 and 5”. Here are some more examples for you to look at:
There are a few chairs in the room.
There are a few cars in the street.
A/ My flat mate is making lots of mess, throwing loud parties, smoking and drinking in his room!
B/ Oh my, he must be DRIVING YOU UP THE WALL!
If you drive someone up the wall, you make them extremely angry.
PHRASAL VERBS CLOSE-UP
- When you DRIVE AT something, you try to say something.
I can see what you’re driving at.
- When you PULL OVER, you move to the side of the road and stop.
Just pull over here, and I’ll get out and walk the rest of the way.
Put the phrases into the correct order.
- is driving me/ childish behavior/ My sister’s/ up the wall
- driving at?/ What/ are you
- He just/ saying goodbye/drove off/ without/
More and more people are becoming victims of road rage – angry, and often violent behavior of car drivers. Frustrated drivers not only use swear words to comment on driving skills of the others, but also often get out of their cars and start fighting with those who got in front of them on their lane, or who – in their opinion – parked inappropriately. Psychologists are wondering what causes this bizarre aggression, and think that the modern, fast pace of life is to blame. We are used to getting everything without waiting, so being delayed by another driver is really frustrating. What is the cure for road rage? Sit back, relax, take a few deep breaths, and simply try to calm down. Remember that stupid road behavior might happen to you, too.
– a victim – someone who has been hurt
– a swear word – a rude or offensive word
– a lane – part of a road that is separated from the other parts, usually by a painted line
– inappropriately – wrongly
– bizarre – strange
– pace – tempo
– to blame – guilty
– delayed – slower/ later
KEY TO EXERCISES
- My sister’s childish behavior is driving me up the wall.
- What are you driving at?
- He just drove off without saying goodbye.