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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of road safety and the minimum legal age for driving from the real IELTS exam.

I wrote about this same question when it came up on IELTS more than a year ago but I figure I would write about it again to see if my thinking has changed at all…

Please consider supporting me on Patreon.com/howtodoielts to receive my exclusive IELTS Ebooks!

Dave

IELTS Essay: Road Safety

Some people think that the best way to increase road safety is to increase the minimum legal age for driving cars and riding motorbikes.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Many concerned policy makers today believe that raising the legal age for acquiring a license would improve road safety. In my opinion, though this might engender a negligible impact, there are superior solutions.

Proponents of this policy reform argue that a disproportionate number of accidents today are caused by younger people. In most countries, it is possible to apply for a learner’s permit at the age of 16 and soon after that a license. Teenagers often lack the maturity and experience required to drive responsibly and respond to challenging road conditions such as inclement weather and reckless drivers. If the legal age for driving was increased it would enable young people to spend more time learning the rules of the road and becoming more mature generally. This would presumably lead to a reduction in accidents, though there is little scientific evidence to support this particular hypothesis.

In fact, the causes of collisions are more closely correlated with other underlying problems. The chief cause of vehicular accidents globally relate to driving under the influence of alcohol. Most teenagers are not able to purchase alcohol legally and therefore the majority of accidents are caused by individuals over the legal age for drinking. This statistic is also more prominent among older individuals whose reflexes are in decline. Furthermore, altering the designs of towns and cities would have far greater tangible ramifications. Many urban environments, for example, were built long ago and more modern understandings of motorist behaviour could be beneficial. This might include emphasising subways and other public transport as opposed to motorways.

In conclusion, despite the marginal relationship between maturity and vehicular accidents, the most effective reforms would involve stricter drinking laws and better urban planning. These changes would be more likely to bring about the desired improvements.

Analysis

1. Many concerned policy makers today believe that raising the legal age for acquiring a license would improve road safety. 2. In my opinion, though this might engender a negligible impact, there are superior solutions.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. Proponents of this policy reform argue that a disproportionate number of accidents today are caused by younger people. 2. In most countries, it is possible to apply for a learner’s permit at the age of 16 and soon after that a license. 3. Teenagers often lack the maturity and experience required to drive responsibly and respond to challenging road conditions such as inclement weather and reckless drivers. 4. If the legal age for driving was increased it would enable young people to spend more time learning the rules of the road and becoming more mature generally. 5. This would presumably lead to a reduction in accidents, though there is little scientific evidence to support this particular hypothesis.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. Stay focused on the same main idea.

1. In fact, the causes of collisions are more closely correlated with other underlying problems. 2. The chief cause of vehicular accidents globally relate to driving under the influence of alcohol. 3. Most teenagers are not able to purchase alcohol legally and therefore the majority of accidents are caused by individuals over the legal age for drinking. 4. This statistic is also more prominent among older individuals whose reflexes are in decline. 5. Furthermore, altering the designs of towns and cities would have far greater tangible ramifications. 6. Many urban environments, for example, were built long ago and more modern understandings of motorist behaviour could be beneficial. 7. This might include emphasising subways and other public transport as opposed to motorways.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Continue developing it…
  5. as fully as possible!
  6. Any extra statement of the result will help.
  7. The specific examples here are key.

1. In conclusion, despite the marginal relationship between maturity and vehicular accidents, the most effective reforms would involve stricter drinking laws and better urban planning. 2. These changes would be more likely to bring about the desired improvements.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

Many concerned policy makers today believe that raising the legal age for acquiring a license would improve road safety. In my opinion, though this might engender a negligible impact, there are superior solutions.

Proponents of this policy reform argue that a disproportionate number of accidents today are caused by younger people. In most countries, it is possible to apply for a learner’s permit at the age of 16 and soon after that a license. Teenagers often lack the maturity and experience required to drive responsibly and respond to challenging road conditions such as inclement weather and reckless drivers. If the legal age for driving was increased it would enable young people to spend more time learning the rules of the road and becoming more mature generally. This would presumably lead to a reduction in accidents, though there is little scientific evidence to support this particular hypothesis.

In fact, the causes of collisions are more closely correlated with other underlying problems. The chief cause of vehicular accidents globally relate to driving under the influence of alcohol. Most teenagers are not able to purchase alcohol legally and therefore the majority of accidents are caused by individuals over the legal age for drinking. This statistic is also more prominent among older individuals whose reflexes are in decline. Furthermore, altering the designs of towns and cities would have far greater tangible ramifications. Many urban environments, for example, were built long ago and more modern understandings of motorist behaviour could be beneficial. This might include emphasising subways and other public transport as opposed to motorways.

In conclusion, despite the marginal relationship between maturity and vehicular accidents, the most effective reforms would involve stricter drinking laws and better urban planning. These changes would be more likely to bring about the desired improvements.

Answers

concerned policy makers worried authorities

raising the legal age for acquiring a license increasing how old before you can drive

road safety how many accidents on the road

engender create

negligible impact marginal effect

superior solutions better remedies

proponents supporters

policy reform changes to the laws

disproportionate unequal

apply for a learner’s permit get a certificate to drive

license a document that allows you to drive

lack the maturity immature

required needed

drive responsibly drive carefully

respond to deal with

inclement weather bad weather, storms, etc.

reckless drivers dangerous driving

enable allow

rules of the road how you should drive

presumably you can assume

reduction decrease

little scientific evidence no support from studies

support this particular hypothesis evidence this idea

in fact actually

collisions accidents

more closely correlated directly related

underlying problems foundational issues

chief cause main source

globally around the world

under the influence of alcohol drunk

purchase alcohol legally buy drinks, beers, wine, etc.

majority most of

statistic data

prominent stands out

reflexes how you react

in decline decreasing

altering changing

far greater tangible ramifications much bigger results

urban environments cities

modern understandings newer ideas

motorist behaviour how people drive

beneficial helps

emphasising subways focusing on metros

as opposed to in contrast to

motorways highways

marginal small

stricter drinking laws regulations against DUIs

better urban planning improved cities

bring about cause

desired improvements what they want to fix

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

kənˈsɜːnd ˈpɒlɪsi ˈmeɪkəz 
ˈreɪzɪŋ ðə ˈliːgəl eɪʤ fɔːr əˈkwaɪərɪŋ ə ˈlaɪsəns 
rəʊd ˈseɪfti
ɪnˈʤɛndə 
ˈnɛglɪʤəbl ˈɪmpækt
sju(ː)ˈpɪərɪə səˈluːʃənz
prəˈpəʊnənts 
ˈpɒlɪsi ˌriːˈfɔːm 
ˌdɪsprəˈpɔːʃnɪt 
əˈplaɪ fɔːr ə ˈlɜːnəz ˈpɜːmɪt 
ˈlaɪsəns
læk ðə məˈtjʊərɪti 
rɪˈkwaɪəd 
draɪv rɪsˈpɒnsəbli 
rɪsˈpɒnd tuː 
ɪnˈklɛmənt ˈwɛðə 
ˈrɛklɪs ˈdraɪvəz
ɪˈneɪbl 
ruːlz ɒv ðə rəʊd 
prɪˈzjuːməbli 
rɪˈdʌkʃən 
ˈlɪtl ˌsaɪənˈtɪfɪk ˈɛvɪdəns 
səˈpɔːt ðɪs pəˈtɪkjʊlə haɪˈpɒθɪsɪs
ɪn fækt
kəˈlɪʒənz 
mɔː ˈkləʊsli ˈkɒrɪleɪtɪd 
ˌʌndəˈlaɪɪŋ ˈprɒbləmz
ʧiːf kɔːz 
ˈgləʊbəli 
ˈʌndə ði ˈɪnflʊəns ɒv ˈælkəhɒl
ˈpɜːʧəs ˈælkəhɒl ˈliːgəli 
məˈʤɒrɪti 
stəˈtɪstɪk 
ˈprɒmɪnənt 
ˈriːflɛksɪz 
ɪn dɪˈklaɪn
ˈɔːltərɪŋ 
fɑː ˈgreɪtə ˈtænʤəbl ˌræmɪfɪˈkeɪʃənz
ˈɜːbən ɪnˈvaɪərənmənts
ˈmɒdən ˌʌndəˈstændɪŋz 
ˈməʊtərɪst bɪˈheɪvjə 
ˌbɛnɪˈfɪʃəl
ˈɛmfəsaɪzɪŋ ˈsʌbweɪz 
æz əˈpəʊzd tuː 
ˈməʊtəˌweɪz
ˈmɑːʤɪnəl 
ˈstrɪktə ˈdrɪŋkɪŋ lɔːz 
ˈbɛtər ˈɜːbən ˈplænɪŋ
brɪŋ əˈbaʊt 
dɪˈzaɪəd ɪmˈpruːvmənts

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

Many c_________________________s today believe that r__________________________________e would improve r____________y. In my opinion, though this might e__________r a n________________t, there are s_________________s.

P_____________s of this p_____________m argue that a d__________________e number of accidents today are caused by younger people. In most countries, it is possible to a________________________t at the age of 16 and soon after that a l__________e. Teenagers often l_________________y and experience r____________d to d________________y and r____________o challenging road conditions such as i_________________r and r_________________s. If the legal age for driving was increased it would e________e young people to spend more time learning the r________________d and becoming more mature generally. This would p______________y lead to a r___________n in accidents, though there is l______________________e to s______________________________s.

I___________t, the causes of c_____________s are m____________________d with other u_______________________s. The c___________e of vehicular accidents g____________y relate to driving u___________________________l. Most teenagers are not able to p__________________________y and therefore the m___________y of accidents are caused by individuals over the legal age for drinking. This s____________c is also more p____________t among older individuals whose r____________s are i_____________e. Furthermore, a__________g the designs of towns and cities would have f___________________________s. Many u___________________s, for example, were built long ago and more m________________________s of m______________________r could be b______________l. This might include e_____________________s and other public transport a____________________o m_____________s.

In conclusion, despite the m____________l relationship between maturity and vehicular accidents, the most effective reforms would involve s________________________s and b___________________g. These changes would be more likely to b_____________t the d______________________s.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic in the video below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.wired.com/story/auto-safety-features-speak-same-language/

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Public Transportation

  1. Do old or young people use public transportation more?
  2. What are the drawbacks of private vehicles?
  3. How could public transportation be improved?
  4. Should city planners consider public transport when designing cities?
  5. What can the government do to improve public transport outside of urban areas?

Writing Practice

Practice with the same basic topic below and then check with my sample answer:

The manufacturing and use of cars damages the environment but their popularity is increasing.

Why is this?

How could this be controlled?


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