I. Pre-Listening Exercises [Top]

What are some of the major factors that lead to car accidents and what can be done to deal with these causes?

HELPFUL TIP: Accidents are often caused by a combination of human error and even adverse weather conditions. You can’t control other people’s actions, so always drive defensively and carefully to avoid accidents and confrontations with other drivers.

II. Listening Exercises [Top]

I. Listen to the conversation by pressing the “Play Audio” button and answer the questions. Press the “Final Score” button to check your quiz.

1. Where did the car accident take place?

A. in front of the house

B. in the parking lot at the store

C. at the post office
2. Which factor did NOT contribute to the accident?

A. excessive speed

B. a faulty car mechanism

C. some obstructions in the car

3. Why is the girl really upset?

A. She wrecked her friend’s car.

B. She doesn’t have money to repair the car.

C. She won’t have a car to drive over the weekend.

4. What is her dad’s original solution to her predicament?

A. He offers to help pay for the repairs.

B. Her dad volunteers to drive her where she needs to go.

C. He suggests she invite friends over to eat.

5. How is the situation finally resolved?

A. The girl decides to go camping the following week instead.

B. The girl invites friends over instead for a pizza party.

C. The father reluctantly loans his car.

Score =
Correct answers:

Man: Honey. Do you know what time Katie will be home?
Woman: Uh, she should be here any minute. She took the car to pick up something from the store.

Man: Okay, I was just a little worried that . . . Man, what was that? Oh, no. The car! She drove over the mailbox and hit a tree in the front yard. Ah, the car!

Woman: Well, just don’t stand there blabbing all day. Let’s go out and see if Katie’s okay.

Man: Ah, my car.

Woman: Honey, are you okay?

Daughter: Oh, mom. I’m so sorry. I can’t believe this is happening.

Man: Oh, my car!

Woman: Forget your car!

Man: Driving with the cell phone. I know.

Daughter: It wasn’t that at all. Don’t jump to conclusions.

Man: Oh, yeah.

Daughter: Dad . . . uh, mom. It’s not like that at all. I mean, as I was pulling into the driveway, something rolled from under the seat and got stuck under the brake pedal . . . the gas pedal . . . I, I don’t know, and I couldn’t stop the car. And then I accidentally hit the gas when I wanted to brake, and I hit the mailbox.

Woman: Uh, I think I know what the problem was. Honey, did you put those golf balls away like I told you? The ones YOU put under the driver’s seat . . . the ones I told you would get in the way.

Man: Man, I thought I got those.

Daughter: Plus, Mom, the windshield wipers on the car didn’t work, so I couldn’t see very well in the rain.

Woman: Didn’t you get those fixed?

Man: Uh, I’ve been meaning to get those repaired.

Daughter: And mom. I was going to use the car this weekend to go camping with my friends, but now my plans are ruined. My friends are going to hate me. What am I going to do?

Woman: Hon, yeah, what IS your daughter going to do? It appears that it’s mainly your fault for the accident and that she’s in such a jam.

Man: My fault? Hey, why don’t you just invite your friends over for pizza? I’ll buy.

Daughter: Mom, we’ve been planning this weekend for months. I need a car.

Woman: Hon.

Man: What? I mean, man, what a predicament! That’s tough.

Woman: I think what your dad is trying to say is that you can take his new Jeep.

Daughter: Yeah, awesome.

Man: What?

Daughter: Yes!

Man: Wait, not my new Jeep. I don’t even have 500 miles on it.

Daughter: Four-wheeling through the mud, over big rocks and in deep ruts in the road . . . if there IS a road.

Man: Ah.

Woman: You love your daughter, don’t you?

Man: Ask me after she returns from the trip.

Daughter: Ah, Dad. I’m going to call my friends to let them know of the good news. Thanks, Dad, I knew I could count on you.

Man: Yeah, but make sure wrecking the car doesn’t become a routine activity.

Daughter: Dad!.

Key Vocabulary [Top]
  • blab (verb): talk too much about unimportant things, some of which might be private matters
    – She blabbed to her friends all about the accident and how it was all my fault. How embarrassing.
  • jump to conclusions (idiom): form an opinion without all the facts and evidence
    – Hey, don’t jump to conclusions. The accident might not have been her fault.
  • pull into (phrasal verb): move into a spot like a parking space or driveway
    – When you arrive, just pull your car into the garage.
  • ruin (verb): spoil or destroy something completely
    – You’re going to ruin your car if you drive it like that.
  • be in a jam (idiom): be in a difficult situation
    – I’m in a real jam because I have a date tonight, but my car broke down this afternoon? What am I going to do?
  • tough (adjective): difficult or unfortunate
    – Not having a car right now must be really tough. How are you going to get to work without one?
  • awesome (adjective): very good, impressive
    – That’s awesome that your parents are letting you use their car for the weekend.
  • count on (phrasal verb): depend on
    – I can always count on my kids to drive safely. Otherwise, I wouldn’t let them use my car.
  • wreck (verb): completely destroy or ruin
    – My father wrecked the family car last night, but fortunately, he wasn’t hurt.