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I wrote this IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer based on a real question from the test. I’m not sure exactly why but it seems that traffic and road safety questions come up all the time on IELTS!

This question asks to what extent you agree or disagree so you have 3 choices: you can agree, you can disagree or you can agree and disagree.

No matter what you must say your opinion at the end – you cannot sit in the middle or you will get a band 5 for task achievement!

My other sample answers are here if you are interested – featuring real past tests and the Cambridge IELTS series as well.

If you want to get over your IELTS fears and achieve your dreams (of going abroad or getting a better job), I now offer online lessons complete with feedback, videos, workbooks and more – you can learn more here!

 

 

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer from Cambridge 13: Traffic and Road Safety (by Dave)

Some people believe that the best way to increase the road safety is to increase the minimum legal age for driving cars. To what extent do you agree or disagree.

Many are of the opinion that raising the age at which people can get driving licenses is the best way to make roads safer. Although this will help prevent some accidents due to inexperience, I strongly feel that it is more important to focus on safer roads through improved urban planning.

The main justification that proponents of raising the age at which people can drive will often cite is the number of accidents attributed to inexperience. In the USA, most teenagers get their driving permit around age 16. There are a couple of factors that can lead a 16 year-old to cause more accidents than someone in their 20s. The first is that they simply do no have as much road experience. They have only dealt with a limited number of experiences and are more likely to make poor decisions at pivotal moments. The other reason is that many American teenagers begin drinking alcohol around this age even though the legal age is 21. Teenagers are notoriously irresponsible and they have not developed strategies for handling alcohol when driving. All people, when drunk, are dangerous but it is especially dangerous if they are inexperienced in terms of both alcohol and driving.

Even though these are valid points, I do no think they outweigh the number of accidents that poor urban planning and infrastructure cause. There will always be other causes that include young drivers, driving while under the influence and road rage but the only factor that plays a hand in nearly all accidents relates to how the roads have been planned. Take the city of New Orleans for example. The urban planners in New Orleans constructed the city with almost entirely one-way streets. This may make it inconvenient at times but it has also resulted in one of the lowest accident rates in the USA. It has also allowed for the construction of parallel streetcars that have also greatly reduced the number of accidents. Cities around the world have replicated this approach by increasing the number of one-way streets and working streetcars into the city plan and seen reciprocal declines in vehicular accidents.

I believe that urban planning, despite not being a well-publicized cause, is the main source of most accidents around the world and raising the legal driving age would have little real impact. The more cities that begin to focus their attention on the causes, rather than the symptoms, of accidents the safer our roads will be for ourselves and future generations.

 

 

 

 

 

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer Analysis

1. Many are of the opinion that raising the age at which people can get driving licenses is the best way to make roads safer. 2. Although this will help prevent some accidents due to inexperience, I strongly feel that it is more important to focus on safer roads through improved urban planning.

1. The first sentence simply rephrases the topic – keep this sentence short and simple.

2. My second sentence has my opinion and my main reasons – include this or you will get a band 5 for task achievement!

 

 

1. The main justification that proponents of raising the age at which people can drive will often cite is the number of accidents attributed to inexperience. 2. In the USA, most teenagers get their driving permit around age 16. 3. There are a couple of factors that can lead a 16 year-old to cause more accidents than someone in their 20s. 4. The first is that they simply do no have as much road experience. 5. They have only dealt with a limited number of experiences and are more likely to make poor decisions at pivotal moments. 6. The other reason is that many American teenagers begin drinking alcohol around this age even though the legal age is 21. 7. Teenagers are notoriously irresponsible and they have not developed strategies for handling alcohol when driving. 8. All people, when drunk, are dangerous but it is especially dangerous if they are inexperienced in terms of both alcohol and driving.

1. My first sentence is a topic sentence which contains the topic (road safety) and my main idea for the paragraph (accidents due to inexperience) – short and simple please!

2. My second sentence begins a specific example – always be specific with your examples!

3. The third sentence develops the example – always develop your specific examples as much as possible!

4. The fourth sentence continues to develop the same example.

5. My fifth sentence also continues to develop the example.

6. The sixth sentence further develops the same example – focus on one example and develop it fully!

7. My seventh sentence develops the example further and links it back to why this is dangerous.

8. The eighth sentence concludes the paragraph emphasising why young people are more likely to get into accidents.

 

 

1. Even though these are valid points, I do no think they outweigh the number of accidents that poor urban planning and infrastructure cause. 2. There will always be other causes that include young drivers, driving while under the influence and road rage but the only factor that plays a hand in nearly all accidents relates to how the roads have been planned. 3. Take the city of New Orleans for example. 4. The urban planners in New Orleans constructed the city with almost entirely one-way streets. 5. This may make it inconvenient at times but it has also resulted in one of the lowest accident rates in the USA. 6. It has also allowed for the construction of parallel streetcars that have also greatly reduced the number of accidents. 7. Cities around the world have replicated this approach by increasing the number of one-way streets and working streetcars into the city plan and seen reciprocal declines in vehicular accidents.

1. My first sentence is another simple topic sentence containing both the topic and the main idea for the whole paragraph – poor urban planning causes more accidents.

2. My next sentence explains my main idea – you only need this sentence if you feel that your main idea needs some more explanation.

3. The third sentence begins my specific example for this paragraph. It is fine to write short, accurate sentences – not every sentence has to be long and complex!

4. My fourth sentence develops this example.

5. My fifth sentence continues to develop this example.

6. The sixth sentence is still developing the example by drawing some conclusions!

7. My seventh sentence make this more general and concludes the whole paragraph.

 

 

1. I believe that urban planning, despite not being a well-publicized cause, is the main source of most accidents around the world and raising the legal driving age would have little real impact. 2. The more cities that begin to focus their attention on the causes, rather than the symptoms, of accidents the safer our roads will be for ourselves and future generations.

1. My first sentence summarises the whole essay – don’t worry much about this sentence – write it quickly because it has no impact on your task achievement score.

2. The second sentence adds an extra detail that many examiners require for band 7+ for task achievement.

 

 

 

Sample Answer Vocabulary

How many of the words in bold below do you know? You might understand them a bit, not 100%. To practice try to write a dictionary definition of each one and then check your answers below.

Many are of the opinion that raising the age at which people can get driving licenses is the best way to make roads safer. Although this will help prevent some accidents due to inexperience, I strongly feel that it is more important to focus on safer roads through improved urban planning.

The main justification that proponents of raising the age at which people can drive will often cite is the number of accidents attributed to inexperience. In the USA, most teenagers get their driving permit around age 16. There are a couple of factors that can lead a 16 year-old to cause more accidents than someone in their 20s. The first is that they simply do no have as much road experience. They have only dealt with a limited number of experiences and are more likely to make poor decisions at pivotal moments. The other reason is that many American teenagers begin drinking alcohol around this age even though the legal age is 21. Teenagers are notoriously irresponsible and they have not developed strategies for handling alcohol when driving. All people, when drunk, are dangerous but it is especially dangerous if they are inexperienced in terms of both alcohol and driving.

Even though these are valid points, I do no think they outweigh the number of accidents that poor urban planning and infrastructure cause. There will always be other causes that include young drivers, driving while under the influence and road rage but the only factor that plays a hand in nearly all accidents relates to how the roads have been planned. Take the city of New Orleans for example. The urban planners in New Orleans constructed the city with almost entirely one-way streets. This may make it inconvenient at times but it has also resulted in one of the lowest accident rates in the USA. It has also allowed for the construction of parallel streetcars that have also greatly reduced the number of accidents. Cities around the world have replicated this approach by increasing the number of one-way streets and working streetcars into the city plan and seen reciprocal declines in vehicular accidents.

I believe that urban planning, despite not being a well-publicized cause, is the main source of most accidents around the world and raising the legal driving age would have little real impact. The more cities that begin to focus their attention on the causes, rather than the symptoms, of accidents the safer our roads will be for ourselves and future generations.

 

 

 

Answers:

are of the opinion: think/believe/feel

urban planning: designing cities

justification: reason for doing something

cite: reference or quote

pivotal moments: key moments/events

legal age: the age at which you are allowed legally to do something

notoriously: famous for being bad

handling alcohol: being able to drink alcohol (beer, wine) responsibly

valid points: good arguments

driving while under the influence: driving drunk or while using a drug

road rage: getting very angry while driving

plays a hand: is part of, has a role in, is partly responsible for

urban planners: the people who design cities

one-way streets: streets where you can only drive in one direction

at times: sometimes

resulted in: the end product is, the end result

parallel: running alongside, opposite of perpendicular

replicated: repeated/reproduced/duplicated

reciprocal: something done in return or as a result

well-publicized cause: a story or issue that gets a lot of attention in the media

little real impact: not much effect

symptoms: a sign or results of a problem, usually used when talking about illness (sneezing is a symptom of a cold)

 

 

 

Vocabulary Practice

Many __________________________ that raising the age at which people can get driving licenses is the best way to make roads safer. Although this will help prevent some accidents due to inexperience, I strongly feel that it is more important to focus on safer roads through improved __________________________.

The main __________________________ that proponents of raising the age at which people can drive will often __________________________ is the number of accidents attributed to inexperience. In the USA, most teenagers get their driving permit around age 16. There are a couple of factors that can lead a 16 year-old to cause more accidents than someone in their 20s. The first is that they simply do no have as much road experience. They have only dealt with a limited number of experiences and are more likely to make poor decisions at __________________________. The other reason is that many American teenagers begin drinking alcohol around this age even though the __________________________ is 21. Teenagers are __________________________ irresponsible and they have not developed strategies for __________________________ when driving. All people, when drunk, are dangerous but it is especially dangerous if they are inexperienced in terms of both alcohol and driving.

Even though these are __________________________, I do no think they outweigh the number of accidents that poor urban planning and infrastructure cause. There will always be other causes that include young drivers, __________________________ and __________________________ but the only factor that __________________________ in nearly all accidents relates to how the roads have been planned. Take the city of New Orleans for example. The __________________________ in New Orleans constructed the city with almost entirely __________________________. This may make it inconvenient __________________________ but it has also __________________________ one of the lowest accident rates in the USA. It has also allowed for the construction of __________________________ streetcars that have also greatly reduced the number of accidents. Cities around the world have __________________________ this approach by increasing the number of one-way streets and working streetcars into the city plan and seen __________________________ declines in vehicular accidents.

I believe that urban planning, despite not being a __________________________, is the main source of most accidents around the world and raising the legal driving age would have __________________________. The more cities that begin to focus their attention on the causes, rather than the __________________________, of accidents the safer our roads will be for ourselves and future generations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Links about Traffic and Road Safety

Here are some ideas for how you can practice when watching these videos.

The Simple Solution to Traffic

What a driverless world could look like

Why Don’t Ants Get Stuck In Traffic?

Worlds Best Creative Road Safety TV Ads Commercials

 

 

 

 

Comment below – when did you first drive a car or motorbike?

I was about…

In my country, people are only allowed to get a license when… 

It was a bit late for me…

Still can’t, I just use Uber…

Learn more about my online courses here.


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