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Vocabuilder: Traffic Accidents

collide (v.) / collision (n.) – when two things (cars, etc.) hit each other

Luckily, no one was injured in the collision.

The two cars collided, but both drivers were wearing their seatbelts.


T-bone – when a car gets hit in the side by another car (it looks like a “T”)

The passenger was injured when the car was T-boned by a truck.


rear-end (v.) – when one car hits another car from behind

Someone rear-ended me because I stopped too suddenly at a stop light.


insurance (n.) – a system for protecting people when they get injured; if you buy car                   insurance, the insurance company will pay for your car if you are in an     accident.

Luckily my insurance paid for everything after the truck collided with my car.


jaws of life – the tool used to cut people out of a car when they are trapped inside (after an       accident)

Rescuers had to use the jaws of life to rescue the woman from her car after the collision.


bumper (n.) – the part of a car that usually hits other cars when they “bump” each other

Most cars have bumpers on the front and back to protect them from minor collisions.


dent (n., v.) – a small place that looks “pressed in” because it has been hit (but not too hard); usually a car is “dented” if it is hit by another car in a parking lot.

There’s a dent in my car because someone backed into my car in the parking lot this morning.


totaled (adj.) – when a car is completely destroyed after an accident; if a car is “totaled”, it      lost all of its value due to an accident. It is cheaper to buy a new car than to    fix a “totaled” car.

After a high-speed collision, both cars were totaled. Luckily, no one was seriously injured.


whiplash (n.) – a neck injury caused when the neck moves too quickly or suddenly (often in rear-end collisions)

I’m wearing a neck brace because I got whiplash when a car rear-ended me last week.


skid marks (n.) – the black lines on the road that are caused when a vehicle brakes suddenly

Police can tell from the skid marks how fast the driver was going.


breath test / breathalyzer (n.) – a test to determine if a person has been drinking alcohol

After the accident, police gave both drivers a breathalyzer to see if they had been drinking or not.


Vocabuilder: Traffic  Accidents





jaws of life               bumper                dent



skid marks



Fill in the blanks below with words from the box above.



1. Mary’s car was __________ after the accident, so her insurance company paid for a new  car.


2. The __________ prove that the driver tried to stop before the accident.


3. There is a small __________ in my passenger-side door because someone backed in to my car while I was buying groceries.


4. I accidentally __________ someone at the stop light today. I wasn’t paying attention and the car in front of me stopped suddenly, so I accidentally hit it from behind. The other driver had to go to the hospital because he had __________.


5. My __________ won’t pay to fix that dent in my car, so I’m just going to ignore it.


6. After the collision, rescuers had to use the __________ to rescue the woman and her daughter from the wreckage.


7. The passenger in my car was seriously injured when someone ran a red light and __________ my car.


8. A car gently rear-ended me at a stop light today, but neither car was dented because we just hit our __________.


9. The motorcyclist was seriously injured after he __________ with an oncoming car.


10. The police officer gave me a ___________ because he said he thought he smelled alcohol.

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