Academic English

“Traffic Report”

Level: Topic: Speakers: Length:
difficult traffic conditions man 01:04

Pre-Listening Exercise

What information would you expect to hear in a radio traffic report? (The recording for this report is fictitious, but is based, in part, on common situations and places in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.)


“hairy” = dangerous and/or scary
Coming home in the snowstorm got pretty hairy as we passed through the mountains.”

“fender-bender” = a car accident that results in little damage
So far, there haven’t been any reports of major accidents during rush hour today. Just a few fender-benders without any injuries.”


Listening Exercise

A. Listen to the recording and answer the questions.

_____ is causing the traffic delays.

Road crews are making repairs on the left lane, so commuters should be prepared to shift over to the right around 7200 South.

These delays clear up _____.

This bottleneck appears to clear up at around 9600 south. You should expect such delays at least until the end of the week.

_____ caused the accident on Northbound I-15.

A minor fender-bender, perhaps resulting from the poor visibility out there, has traffic backed up a mile or so.

What weather conditions are predicted during the night and morning hours?

Forecasters predict sporadic freezing rain later into the night and early morning hours. And one more note, the frigid temperatures and heavy snow in the mountains have forced a herd of elk down into Riverside Park, so extreme caution should be taken if you are travelling around that area.

______ because of the extreme cold temperatures.

Post-Listening Exercise

What are some of the most common modes of transportation in your country? What are the traffic conditions like in both major cities and rural areas? Do you think that building more roads or widening them is the solution to traffic congestion? Find a Website that describes these conditions and summarize your findings.