Describe A Time When You Were Stuck In A Traffic Jam

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card

Describe a time when you were stuck in a traffic jam.

You should say:

When and where it happened?
How long you were in the traffic jam?
What you did while waiting?
And explain how you felt when you were in that traffic jam.

Note: You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.

Model Answer 1:

Well, traffic jam is quite a common scene, especially in big cities where people waste a lot of time in these jams. 

When and where it happened?
I am going to talk about one such experience that I lately had where I was stuck in a jam for a long time. Actually, my friend and I planned a weekend. We decided to go to Ludhiana on the weekend and have a lot of fun. We planned to go shopping, watch a movie in the cinema and later have a meal in a restaurant and come back home.

I was pretty excited about the same, and we were planned to travel by bus. The next morning, when I reached the bus stop, I received a phone call from my friend who cancelled the program for some reason, but I decided to travel alone.

I vividly remember it was a pretty hot day, and I boarded a non air condition bus. It was fully packed, and Somehow, I managed to get a seat, but the journey was quite uncomfortable. It had been hardly 30 minutes, and the bus suddenly stopped. 

How long you were in the traffic jam? and What you did while waiting?
There was a huge jam, and there was a long cue of vehicles ahead. The bus driver stopped the engine and went out to enquire. It was really difficult to spend the time waiting in this bus. So I decided to play a game on my phone or listen to music.

I hardly spend 15-20 minutes and my mobile battery got flat. In the meantime, we got to know that the jam is because of a road accident and it may take a long time before the police let the vehicles to move. 

And explain how you felt when you were in that traffic jam.
It was the height of my patience because I couldn’t wait anymore and I was too much irritated because of the constant honking and toxic fumes of other vehicles, and that’s a reason why I decided to get off the bus and board a bus going the other direction. 

Finally, after wasting around four hours, I was back home, and I was really frustrated because a traffic jam completely ruined my weekend

Model Answer 2:

Being stuck on the road can also cause irritable fatigue, road rage, even depression. Many a time, the problem is you’re wary of opening the windows too because pollution from cars and trucks can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, respiratory ailments and cancer. Today I would like to talk about when I was caught in a traffic jam for two hours.

When and where it happened?
One of my cousins runs a fabric sailing business. He mainly buys things from Ludhiana. o He visits the Ludhiana Market once every two months. I was free last weekend. I requested him that I want to go with him to buy some clothes. We went in his car.

How long you were in the traffic jam? and What you did while waiting?
We did shopping within three hours. We had lunch in a restaurant before starting travelling back home. As we know Ludhiana is a big city and famous for its traffic. We crossed half of the city within twenty minutes, we thought, we would reach home but within three hours, unfortunately, there was a major accident that happened on the main road.

There was a traffic jam due to the accident of two trucks. Both truck drivers died on the spot. It took about two hours to clear the traffic jam. There were two ambulances also stuck in the traffic. So police officers firstly made a way for the ambulance to pass. It was too difficult to wait for two hours on a hot day.

And explain how you felt when you were in that traffic jam. and Conclusion:
My head was starting to pain a lot because I did not face that type of situation before. Luckily my cousin had a medicine, and after eating I got relief. We reached at home 9 PM. I can never forget that day.

Model Answer 3:


  • I live in a small town and in general, there is not much traffic on the roads.
  • The only time we face traffic jams is when there is a religious procession or a political rally.
  • And most of the times, these are announced beforehand, so I rarely get stuck in traffic jams.

When and where it happened?

  • However, last month I went to Jalandhar to buy some clothes for my cousin’s wedding.
  • When we went, there was no traffic.
  • On the way back, the main road was shut down as there had been a collision between two buses between Phagwara, my hometown, and Jalandhar.
  • Big cranes had to be called to remove the buses from the roads and that took time.
  • This being the main road slowly led to a huge jam.
  • The traffic police tried to get the traffic diverted through the service road.
  • But the road was considerably narrower than the main road, and because of that, the traffic built up.

How long you were in the traffic jam?

  • We were stuck in the jam for at least 2 to 3 hours.
  • At first, we didn’t think we would have to wait for so long.
  • We thought it was just busier than normal, and things would clear up soon.

What you did while waiting?

  • However, when our car barely moved 100 metres in 15 minutes, my dad went out and enquired about what had happened.
  • We couldn’t really back up as there was no space.
  • So, we tried to use the time by playing games and listening to music.
  • To be honest, we also spent a big part whining about government failure, although we all knew such circumstances are unavoidable.

And explain how you felt when you were in that traffic jam.

  • I don’t think I could describe what we felt at that time.
  • We all just wanted the traffic jam to clear up and reach home as soon as possible.


  • But the day ended on a happy note as far I as was concerned.
  • Because we reached home late, my mother didn’t get time to cook.
  • And we got Pizzas to eat for dinner.

IELTS Speaking Part 3 : Follow up Questions

Here some examples of follow up questions that you may asked during your speaking part 3 by examiner related to cue card “describe a time when you were stuck in a traffic jam”.

Q1. Are traffic jams common in Indian cities?
Yes, India has a huge population, and traffic jams are not uncommon, especially in big cities like Delhi, Bombay, Chennai, and Kolkatta. Moreover, there is also a bad culture of parking cars on the roads in India, which reduces available space for parking and leads to jams.

Q2. Why are cities today facing serious traffic issues?
I think the main reason for the serious traffic issues is increasing urbanisation. More and more people are moving to cities for a better quality of life, but this leads to more cars than roads can handle. Moreover, some older cities have narrow roads as they were not designed, keeping today’s use of cars in minds. These narrow roads restrict traffic flow and lead to jams.

Q3. What can be done to improve traffic conditions in cities?
First, I think the government should promote the use of public transportation by making it more comfortable and faster. For example, the traffic conditions in Delhi have improved considerably after the launch of the Delhi Metro. Also, the roads need to be widened wherever possible to accommodate more cars.

Q4. Can developing public transport help resolve traffic issues in cities?
I think public transportation can resolve traffic issues but if it is fast and comfortable. Delhi had local trains for a long time, and people did not prefer them because they were slow. However, the construction of the Delhi Metro, which is quite fast and comfortable, made a real dent in traffic.


Image : Photo by Iwona Castiello d’Antonio on Unsplash

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