Learning to drive a car
Properly – должным образом, как следует, правильно
Vehicle – транспортное средство, автомобиль
Daunting – приводящий в растерянность, пугающий, внушающий страх
Nerve-wrecking – нервотрепка
Constantly – непрерывно, непрестанно, постоянно
Driver’s license – водительские права
Driving test – сдача теста на вождение
Instructor – инструктор, тренер
Cautious – осторожный, осмотрительный, предусмотрительный
Responsibility – ответственность (за что-л.)
To drive – ездить, ехать (на автомобиле)
To operate – приводить в движение, запускать, управлять
To obey – подчиняться, слушаться, повиноваться
To practice – практиковать(ся), применять на практике
To steer – править рулём, управлять (автомобилем и т. п.)
To require – приказывать, требовать
Being a backseat driver – быть под контролем, когда ведешь машину
Sunday driver – медленный водитель
Fender bender – очень маленькая дорожная авария
Putting the pedal to the metal – вжать педаль газа в пол
Learning to drive a car
Hello. My name is Angelina. I’m a teacher with the online English school, EnglishDom.com. Today we’re going to talk about learning how to drive a car.
When a person learns how to drive a car, what they are doing is, they are learning how to properly operate a motor vehicle and how to obey their country’s laws about safe driving. Learning to drive a car is a very daunting task for some people. The laws about driving are different from country to country. A couple of these differences might be at what age a person is legally allowed to drive and another difference might be which side of the road they drive on whether it’s on the left or on the right. Here in the U.S. a person is legally allowed to drive a car at the age of 16. They first have to pass a driver’s education course which includes a written test and a practical driver’s exam. They actually have to get behind the wheel and drive. When I first got behind the wheel, I was 15 which is younger than the legal age for driving but I knew I needed the practice and my parents wanted me to practice as much as I could before the actual test. My dad was the first one who helped me learn how to drive. He smokes cigarettes and he’s smoked since, well, as long as I can remember. On that first driving lesson, I remember sitting behind the wheel of the car, very nervous, and my father sat beside me and he smoked 10 cigarettes in a matter of 30 minutes because he was so nervous to have me driving. After that my mom decided to help me drive. She is much more calm about that sort of thing than my father is. She was really good about teaching me how to drive and the rules of the road and being there for me in that sense. A lot of young people don’t get that type of experience and they are unable to practice before the actual exam which can be very nerve-wracking for them because they don’t have the practice and they are nervous about failing because they want their license so much. Every 16 year old in the U.S. wants their driver’s license they day they turn 16, it’s very important. My husband, the way that he drives, he drives very quickly and he does the because of the way his father taught him to drive. His father always drove quickly so now my husband drives pretty quickly too. I’m hoping when my son gets to the age of 16 that I will be the one who will teach him how to drive and not my husband, so, we’ll see.
Some idioms and expressions that have to deal with driving are "being a backseat driver" or referring to someone as a "Sunday driver" or getting into a "fender bender" and the last one would be "putting the pedal to the metal". The first one, "being a backseat driver" means that while you are driving the car person sitting next to you, while not actually in the backseat, they are next to you and t hey are constantly telling you what to do, "turn here" or "slow down" or "you’re going too fast" or "watch out", something. They tell you what to do the entire time you are driving and it’s very annoying. They next on is "Sunday driver" and you call a person a "Sunday driver" when they drive very slowly. No matter what they weather conditions are or if they are running late or not. They are always driving slower than everyone else on the road as if they are out for a Sunday drive which is when you just cruise very slowly. The next one is "fender bender". When you talk about a "fender bender", a "fender bender" is when you get into a car wreck but it’s a very small one, maybe a dent, maybe a scratch. There’s no real damage to either vehicle that’s in the wreck so, that’s what a "fender bender" is — a very small, very minor car accident. "Putting the pedal to the medal" — every 16 year old that gets into the car for the first time, with a license and they are alone, "puts the pedal to the medal". And that’s to push that gas pedal down as far as they can and they are driving as fast as they possibly can. So that’s what it means to "put the pedal to the metal", you are just driving very, very fast.
Talking on a cell phone can double the likelihood of an accident and can slow a young driver’s reaction time to that of a 70-year-old.
"The best car safety device is a rear-view mirror with a cop in it."
— Dudley Moore
"You cannot drive straight on a twisting lane."
— Russian Proverb
A police officer pulls over a speeding car.
The officer says, "I clocked you at 80 miles per hour, sir ."
The driver says, "Gee, officer, I had it on cruise control at 60; perhaps your radar gun needs calibrating."
Not looking up from her knitting the wife says: "Now don't be silly, dear – you know that this car doesn't have cruise control."
As the officer writes out the ticket, the driver looks over at his wife and growls, "Can't you please keep your mouth shut for once?"
The wife smiles demurely and says, "Well dear, you should be thankful your radar detector went off when it did or your speed would have been higher."
As the officer makes out the second ticket for the illegal radar detector unit, the man glowers at his wife and says through clenched teeth, "Woman, can't you keep your mouth shut?"
The officer frowns and says, "And I notice that you're not wearing your seat belt, sir. That's an automatic $75 fine."
The driver says, "Yeah, well, you see, officer, I had it on, but I took it off when you pulled me over so that I could get my license out of my back pocket."
The wife says, "Now, dear, you know very well that you didn't have your seat belt on. You never wear your seat belt when you're driving."
And as the police officer is writing out the third ticket, the driver turns to his wife and barks, "Why don't you please shut up?"
The officer looks over at the woman and asks, "Does your husband always talk to you this way, Ma'am?"
"Only when he's been drinking, officer."
List of questions for discussion
1. When do you think people should be allowed to drive a car?
2. What do you think of the driving in other countries?
3. How often do you think people need to renew their driving licence or driving skills?
4. What should governments do to make driving safer?
5. Do you prefer to drive or travel by another form of transport?
6. What do other people think of or say about your driving?
7. What do you think the punishment for drunk driving should be?
8. Do you think drivers should be tested frequently to continually improve their driving skills?
9. Do you think men or women are the best drivers?
10. If you went on a driving holiday, where would you like to go?
11. What’s the most dangerous piece of driving you’ve ever seen?
12. Do you (or someone you know well) always follow the rules of the road when you (they) drive?
13. What do you think about when you are driving?
14. Do you think you are a good or bad driver?
15. Do you think there should be more rules for drivers in your country?
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