Views #1321 | Intermediate (B2)

Car Smash Ups

Amy and Paul talks about traffic accidents they saw or experienced themselves.

Paul: So I was on my way to work the other day, and I saw this really—you shouldn't laugh but it was quite funny traffic accident. I shouldn't laugh but this old lady was in her car. And bless her, she must have got confused and she put the car into reverse and when she went to like put the car in forward gear, and she drove like straight into the person behind her and smashed up the car behind her.

Amy: Oh no.

Paul: I mean, it was an innocent mistake but it could happen to any of us but it was a bit, sort of calamitous really. How about you? Have you had any car accidents?

Amy: Not like that. I've been in a car—I was a passenger in a car accident. When I was about 17, my boyfriend at the time was driving too fast on a country road with a national speed limit. So he was going pretty fast and then we were pulling into a small village, so he had to slow right down. The roads were very, very wet. It was dark. He came up over a small hill and there was a big jeep suddenly waiting to turn right and he stomped on the brakes and skidded right into the back of it. So his little car just got demolished by this jeep.

We were okay. He hit his head on the steering wheel. And I think I had seatbelt pain from where the seatbelt was but yeah, the car was a write-off. But we were okay.

Paul: Wow. Thank goodness for that. It sounds like pretty horrific.

Amy: No, no. It was okay.

Paul: Yeah.

Amy: It taught him to, I guess, be a better driver. He was driving too fast on slippery and dark conditions.

Paul: Yeah. I guess when you're at that age, you almost feel like you're untouchable, nothing can stop you. So sometimes, you need those sorts of experiences to kind of make you realize that.

Amy: Don't be a boy racer.

Paul: Don't be a boy racer and it can be taken away from you. Your life could be taken away from you very easily, you know. It's pretty—

Amy: Yeah, we were really lucky, for sure.

Answer these questions about the interview.
Audio Lessons about Phrases and Vocabulary

innocent mistake


It was an innocent mistake.

A innocent mistake is a mistake that is easy to make and not intended. Notice the following:

  1. He said my name wrong, but it was an innocent mistake.
  2. Forgetting your wife's birthday is not an innocent mistake.



It was sort of calamitous really.

Something calamitous (a calamity) causes great damage. Notice the following:

  1. It was a calamitous mistake that hurt the company.
  2. The error was serious, but not calamitous.

stomp on


He stomped on the brakes.

When you stomp on something, you step on is very hard. Notice the following:

  1. She stomped on me at the meeting.
  2. The boy stomps his feet when he gets upset.

a write-off


The car was a write-off.

A write-off is something that no longer has value due to damage. Notice the following:

  1. The house was a write-off after the storm.
  2. His car was a write-off after he wrecked it.



You feel you're untouchable, nothing can stop you.

When you are untouchable, you feel bad events cannot happen to you. Notice the following:

  1. He is rich and powerful, so he is untouchable.
  2. The mafia often think they are untouchable.

Vocabulary Quiz

innocent • calamitous • stomp
write-off • untouchable
  1. He had to on the brakes.
  2. The crime boss is .
  3. The house was a after the flood.
  4. The storm was .
  5. It was an mistake. Don't worry!

Related Lessons

1322 The Recovery
#1322 The Recovery
An accident that ruined a special day.

Other Lessons

1325 Slow Travel
#1325 Slow Travel
Travelling vs staying in one place.
1324 Where to Work in Asia
#1324 Where to Work in Asia
Places to work in Asia.
1323 Business in Bali
#1323 Business in Bali
Doing business from Bali.


Courses for Students and Teachers

One Minute English Videos

Views English Lessons

Mixer English Lessons

Learn Academic English with News Stories

About the Teacher / Creator

Hello, and welcome to elllo. My name is Todd Beuckens. I've been an ESL teacher for 25 years. I created elllo to provide teachers and students free audio lessons and learning materials not usually found in commercial textbooks.
Contact Me Here