• back seat – the rear (second row) seats in a car, where passengers (not the driver) sit

  On the long drive across the country, they took turns driving. While one person drove, the other slept in the back seat.

  • cup holder – a round hole on the inside of a car for holding cups or cans of soda

  He tried to put his can of soda in the cup holder while he was driving and ended up spilling it all over the floor.

  • ignition – a small opening near a steering wheel into which one puts a key to start the car

  They accidentally locked their car while the keys were still in the ignition!

  • gas pedal – a piece of metal that a driver pushes with his or her foot to give the car more gas and to make it go faster

  She pushed the gas pedal to the floor because she was in a big hurry.

  • rearview mirror – a rectangular mirror near the driver’s head that allows the driver to see behind the car

  I stopped my car when I saw the police car in my rearview mirror.

  • side mirror – a small mirror outside the car near the front windows that allows the driver to see the side of the car and behind the car

  Grandma drove too close to the building and hit her side mirror against the wall.

  • drive-time traffic report – a radio announcement during rush hour (times of heavy traffic) that tells drivers where there are accidents and slow traffic

  According to the drive-time traffic report, there were three accidents on the freeway, so we drove home using Main Street instead.

  • transmission – the system that passes energy from the car’s engine to its wheels

  I couldn’t believe it when the mechanic said that I needed to replace my car’s transmission and that it would cost more than $2,000!

  • out of park – to take the car out of an unmoving position into a moving position

  I took the transmission out of park, but nothing happened because there wasn’t any gas in the car.

  • reverse – backward motion; going back

  Driving in reverse is always more difficult than driving forward.

  • driveway – a short length of road leading from the main road to the entrance or garage of a house or office building

  When she gets home from work everyday, she walks down the driveway to pick up the mail from her mailbox.

  • drive – forward motion; going forward

  He put the car into drive and started to leave, but then he stopped because he remembered that he had left some important papers at home.

  • stick shift – manual transmission; a car in which the driver uses a lever to put the car in gears 1 through 5 or in reverse

  Driving a stick shift requires a lot of concentration for me because I’m always worried that I’ll shift into reverse by accident.

  • automatic transmission – a car in which gears 1 through 5 change automatically without the driver needing to do anything

  Many people prefer driving automatic transmissions because it leaves them with one hand available to change radio stations or to hold a cell phone.

  • onramp – a short road for cars to speed up and enter a highway or freeway

  The first onramp was closed due to an accident so we had to drive to the next onramp to get on the freeway.

  • exit – a short road for cars to leave a highway or freeway and connect to other roads

  Do you know which exit we need to take to get to the beach?

  • parking garage – a large building with many floors for cars to park

  This parking garage only charges $5 for three hours, so let’s park here.

  • to swipe – to quickly pass a card through a machine that reads it

  I tried to swipe my credit card several times before realizing that it was broken.

  • key card – a plastic card that tells a machine whether a person has permission to enter a building

  When he lost his key card, he had to talk to security for two hours before they would let him into the building.

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