So today we want to talk about the subject of defensive driving. And the way I define defensive driving is, the ability to develop the proper driving habits, so that we can compensate for pretty much anything that goes on out on the roadways and that we can avoid a crash at any level.

The way I like to do this is talk about a term which is called space cushion driving. At what that basically means is, that as we’re driving our vehicle we want to have an imaginary space cushion around our car at all times. We want to have adequate distance in front of the car, in back of the car, and on the left and right sides of the car, so that if any type of situation comes up where we need to move the vehicle to avoid a hazardous situation we have the means to do this. We can never be too close to the car ahead of us. We don’t want the car behind us to be too close to us and we definitely want to have room, both on the left and the right side of our car throughout our driving experience so that, again, if something happens we need to have a way to get away from the hazard.

Does the word pretty much mean **almost* here?

What does the word go on here mean?

What does the word out on mean?

  • You have asked several questions about this paragraph - is this for homework or because you are having issues with the translation?
    – amblina
    Jun 24, 2015 at 13:58
  • Hi there, No not for homework. I am just have difficulty translating them into my lsnguage so that could teach driving method to my brother that is not spesking English, and he is so obssessed with the text and details of what I have provided for him.
    – user5036
    Jun 24, 2015 at 14:28
  • ... also I could understand and perhaps the gist of wuestion 2 and 3 but please help me with number 1
    – user5036
    Jun 24, 2015 at 14:29

2 Answers 2


Pretty much X means almost in the sense that X may or may not be 100% complete or cover absolutely every case, but it will covers enough reasonable or expected cases where one is not likely to notice a difference. Almost often can be used in place of pretty much.

I like to eat pretty much anything.

You don't literally mean anything, but I would take this to mean you'll eat any commonly available food item or meal that isn't very unusual.

Pretty much cannot clearly substitute for almost if it's expressing something that didn't actually happen, but came close to happening.

That car almost hit the pedestrian. - The pedestrian has not actually been hit.

That car pretty much hit the pedestrian. - Something happened which is equivalent to the pedestrian being hit. It's possible this could mean the same as above but unlikely.

I almost died. - You haven't actually died.

I pretty much died. - You passed out or something that was similar/alluding to death.

I almost drank the entire bottle. - You did in fact drink something

I pretty much drank the entire bottle. - Means the same as above.


I think you can find the meaning of the passage by the context and guessing what it may mean. I am not also native but I can guess the phrases.

Take pretty much anything as a chunk, it means all the reasonable or expected cases

The passage is about defensive driving, then you can expect that it is a method in which you are ready for the most happenings that usually occur on the roadways.

Then "pretty much anything that goes on out on the roadways" simply means almost anything that usually happen on the roadways!

or more precisely, any happening that is expected on a normal roadway occur. It includes the sudden crossing of a cow! but maybe not the crash of an airplane on the road!

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