Vocabulary for Traffic and Driving

Master vocabulary is essential to maxmise your TOEIC score. Remember, preparation is the key!




A (road) sign

An symbole indicating how youshould behave on the road.

The sign isn’t well-situated.

A 4-wheel drive

A big car which can be driven anywhere.

Let’s the the 4-wheel drive to go to the desert.

A bonnet/hood (GB)

A part covering car’s engine.

The bonnet had to be opend to check the engine.

A brake/To brake

A stopping device/to stop.

You have to break when you leave the highway.

A bumper

An impact absorber on a vehicle.

My bumper is damaged because it absorbed many shocks.

A cab

A taxi.

Black cabs are safer than other cabs in Great Britain.

A car crash

An accident with two cars bumping into each other or a car colliding with an object.

There was a car crash on the ringroad.

A car rental

Hiring a car.

The car rental is all booked.

A car service

A customized service of luxury cars (usually limousines)

For the bachelorette party, they used a car service.

A crosswalk (US)/a zebra crossing (GB)

What enables pedestrians to cross the street.

Children are taught how to use the crosswalk.

A dashboard

All the car information in the front of the driver when he drives.

Some of the new dashboards are quite hard to read.

A door mirror/fender mirror/ outside rear-view mirror/side (view) mirror/ wing mirror

A mirror found on the exterior to see areas behind and to the sides of the vehicle, outside of the driver’s peripheral vision (in the ‘blind spot’).

Before turning, you should always check your side mirror.

A driver’s license (US)/driving licence (GB)

Official document which gives you the right to drive.

When did you get your driver’s license?

A driveway

A private vehicle path from house to road.

Why don’t you park the car on the driveway?

A driving ban

A time when you are not allowed to drive.

Due to the accident, I had a 3-month driving ban.

A driving instructor

The person who teaches you how to drive.

My driving instructor was so strict!

A fine/a ticket

A financial penalty.

He got a ticket for parking where he wasn’t allowed to.

A foot brake

The pedal to slow down.

I’mcomfortable using the foot brake when necessary.

A front mirror

Mirror situation forward to see what’s happenong behind you.

The instructor got a larger front mirror.

A gear

A mechanism that needs to be used to go faster or slower.

As the first gear doesn’t work peoperly, I have to start the car in 2nd gear.

A gear lever/a gear stick/a gear shift

What you use to change gear.

The gear shift is broken so the car needs to be repaired.

A handbrake

To stop/start the vehicle by hand.

The hill was so steep that I needed the handbrake to stop the car.

A headlight

A vehicle’s front light.

It’s dark so you’d better use the headlights.

A highway (US)/freeway (US)/motorway (GB)

A road where you can drive faster and that makes you reach destination faster.

Don’t drive too fast on the highway!

A hit and run

When you are part of an accident and leave before the accident report is made, the contact details or at least the license plates are exchanged.

When they crashed, Harry couldn’t do anything as it was a hit-and-run accident.

A lane

A line/aisle/row on the road.

The lane towards the capital is hard to take.

A license plate/tag (US)/ number plate (GB)

The official identification under which your car is registered.

His license plate number is easy to remember.

A motorbike/bike

A motorcycle.

Many new fathers sell their motorbike to reduce risks.

A one-way street

A street where the cars can only drive in one direction.

Haven’t you seen the sign indicating it was a one-way street?

A park-and-ride scheme

A public rideshare area.

Park-and-ride schemes will soon be implemented.

A parking lot/parking space

A place where you can park your car.

The parking lot is too small for my car.

A pedestrian

Someone who walks (opposed someone who drives)

There are fewer pedestrians in the US than in Europe.

A pedestrianized street

A street with no car where you can walk without being disturbed by traffic.

We love having lunch in the pedestrianized street.

A petrol gauge

A measuring instrument which tells you how much petrol you have left.

Which side is your petro gauge?

A pile-up

A crash involving several vehicles.

Be careful as there is a pile-up a few miles away.

A police officer/traffic cop

Someone who represents and embodies the authority and law.

The police officer agreed not to give me a fine if I fixed the problem right away.

A rear(view) mirror

A mirror that gives a view of the area behind a vehicle.

Please use your rear mirror more frequently.

A road accident

An accident involving at least one road vehicle, occurring on a road open to public circulation.

Our children shouldn’t witness any road accident.

A rotary circle/traffic circle (US)/roundabout (UK)

A circular arrangement constructed to facilitate the passage of vehicles from one road to another.

The rules to give way are usually different in traffic circles.

A rush hour (US)/peak hour (GB)

Prime time, busiest period.

Peak hours are very regular from Monday to Friday.

A seat belt

What you fasten when you take a car, plane or coach.

Please fasten your seat belt.

A sedan

A family car.

Her parents’ sedan is very good.

A sidewalk (US)/pavement (GB)

Where pedestrians can walk freely.

The sidewalk is too narrow for my buggy.

A spare part

A duplicate or replacement component for a machine

To save money, you can fix your car and buy the necessary spare parts.

A spare tire

A tire used or kept available as an emergency replacement on a vehicle.

We need a new spare

A speed limit

The maximum speed you should not exceed.

Respect the speed limits not to be ticketed.

A station wagon

An estate car.

To have more space than in a traditional car, they bought a station wagon.

A steering wheel

A control wheel of a vehicle.

The steering wheel has become hot with the sun.

A stop light

A red traffic signal.

Kerry hasn’t seen the stop light.

A tailback (GB)

A long queue of stationary or slow-moving traffic extending back from a busy junction or similar obstruction on the road.

With such a tailback, he’ll never be on time.

A tire (US)/tyre (GB)

Rubber around wheel.

Your tires need to be changed.

A tollbooth

A kiosk where traffic fee is paid.

You’ll ask the person at the tollbooth.

A traffic jam/congestion

A vehicle congestion.

Hamilton was stuck in a traffic jam.

A traffic light

A signal (green, orange or red) which tells you whether you should go or stop.

I haven’t seen the traffic lights, I hope it won’t be a problem.

A traffic violation (US)/ an offense

A driving offence.

Drive safely and avoid traffic violations.

A truck (US)/lorry (GB)

A large, heavy road vehicle used for carrying goods, materials, or troops.

She dislikes driving behind trucks.

A trunk (US)/a boot (GB)

A rear compartment in a vehicle to store what you don’t want in the front with you.

A trunk is always too small when you travel with your family.

A van

A work vehicle.

What do you think of my van?

A vehicle enthusiast

Someone who is very cheerful for anything related to vehicles.

His passion made him a vehicle enthusiast.

A wheel

A a circular frame or disk arranged to revolve on an axis, as on or in vehicles or machinery.

How big is your wheel?

A windscreen/windshield wiper

An electrically operated blade with a rubber edge that wipes a windscreen clear of rain, snow…

Your windscreen wipers need to be changed.

A windshield

A vehicle’s front window.

I need to clean the windshield because I can’t see the road properly.

A/to tow-away

An act of a car being officially removed from a place where it has been illegally left.

They risked a tow-away as they had no more time to find a parking spot.


Which you have the financial means to pay.

Taking the car is usually more affordable than the plane.

An auto-free zone/ a car-free zone/pedestrian zone/traffic-free zone

An area reserved for pedestrian-only use and in which automobile traffic may be prohibited.

It’s so nice to walk around in car-free zones.

An engine

A motor.

His engine is extremely powerful.

An exhaust pipe

A vehicle’s gas outlet.

Our exhaust pipe fell down while we were driving.

An indicator

A flashing signal to indicate whether you’re turning left or right.

Don’t forget to use your indicators or the other drivers won’t know where you’re going.

Autobahn racing

Competition to find who goes faster on a highway.

Autobahn racing is dangerous.

Exhaust fumes

Gases from a vehicle engine.

Exhaust fumes can be at the same height as your face.


Car fuel/energy.

I’m out of gas.

Ground/land transportation

 Transport or movement of people, animals, and goods from one location to another on land, usually by rail or road.

Ground transportation is mainly used for animals.

Heavy traffic

Many cars on the road.

Due to heavy traffic, they were delayed.

Light/noise/sound pollution

Pollution emitted by lights and sounds.

In cities, light and noise pollution is huge.

Neutral (gear)

Disengaged gear position.

When she doesn’t know where togo, she always puts her car in neutral.

Reverse gear

Gear to go backward.

Reverse gear can be tricky when you learn to drive.

Road rage

When you blow a fuse because of events on the road.

He was so angry he went through road rage.


Pollution with a mix of fog and smoke.

The smog in cities can be dangerous.

To adjust

To adapt.

Adjust your seat belt please.

To be congested

When too many vehicles are on a road.

This highway is continuously congested.

To be dazzled

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