Driving index

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Driving Stories

Picture of Blossom reading a book
Veronika, age 10, writes:

I think this is a good project because my mom has a phone, so when someone calls her on the phone she puts it on her lap and puts it on speaker phone.

Ruff replies:

Veronika, it's great that your mom uses her phone hands-free while driving — but having a phone on your lap isn't the best idea, because it slides around, which can be VERY distracting. It would be better to use one of those phone holders that keeps everything in place. (Come to think of it, maybe I can get one of those to keep CHET in place while I drive!)

Jack, age 6, writes:

I am not a distraction because I only listen to music and look out the window when I'm driving in the car. I would be a distraction if I kicked the seat or showed my mom something when she is driving.

Ruff replies:

You are wise beyond your years, Jack! (Although I will assume that when you say you're "driving in the car," that means you're RIDING in the car. Six years old is a bit young to be driving.)

Lana, age 9, writes:

My grandma always texts while driving. I tell her to stop before we get into a wreck. Should she stop texting while driving?

Ruff replies:

One word: yes.

Skylarj , age 9, writes:

Ruff, what should I do if my parents say not to text but they text anyway?

Ruff holding steering wheel and phone
Ruff replies:

That is a tough question, Skylarj. The best thing to do is wait until you're home, and tell your parents that you've noticed that they text and drive. Then you can show them this web site, watch the song, and maybe even take the Safe Driving pledge!

Christopher, age 10, writes:

My dad and mom listen to music. Is that ok?

Ruff replies:

Listening to music is okay. MAKING music is not okay. Maybe our slogan should say, "No Texting and No Saxophones."

Delia, age 7, writes:

I want to know how can people call on their phones without holding them to their ears.

Ruff replies:

Some phones let you talk without holding them, like a speaker phone. And some people use an earbud that also has a microphone on it. But being on the phone can be distracting even if you're not holding it, because your mind is thinking about the call and not about what's on the road.

Tamara but you can call me Tammy, age 11, writes:

I love how this project keeps the world safe. A lot of people get hurt from cars and people calling and texting. I see a lot of people who call and text while they are driving. I wish it would stop. Me and my friend try to stop it when we can. We try our best to make sure the world is a better place.

Ruff but you can call me Ruff replies:

On behalf of the world, I thank you!

Shelby, age 7, writes:

I am one of the distractions.

Ruff replies:

Unless you mean you're one of the musicians in a band called Elvis Frostello and the Distractions (Chet loved their second album!), then I assume you mean that you distract the driver when you're in a car. It's not good to be a distraction, but it IS good that you KNOW you're a distraction. That's the first step in learning to NOT distract the driver when you're in a car.

Coral, age 9, writes:

What would you do if you saw one of your family members texting and driving at the same time? I would tell them to put down the phone and focus on the road.

Ruff replies:

You got it! You could also tell them that you can handle the phone for them.

Justin writes:

Is there a way to drive and multitask in order to be safe?

Ruff replies:

Here's the thing, Justin: safe driving already takes a lot of multitasking skills. You have to be LOOKING and LISTENING and DRIVING and PAYING ATTENTION to everything around you that's constantly changing. So let's not add using the phone or texting.

Lilly, age 6, writes:

If your parents are on Bluetooth, is it ok?

Ruff replies:

Great question, Lilly. Delia asked us earlier about ways to make calls without holding the phone and Bluetooth is one way. It's kind of like connecting the phone with Wi-Fi to a little speaker that sits in your ear. So it's good that they're not holding their phone, but only if they're not fiddling with the Bluetooth gizmo or getting too distracted by their phone call.

Salsa, age 10, writes:

My mom texts while she's driving and talks on the phone while she's driving too! I have to tell her to go when the stop light turns green, and this is when she's texting. Ruff is it that bad to text and drive?

Ruff holding phone instead of steering wheel
Ruff replies:

I'm afraid your mom sounds very distracted. If she's sitting at traffic lights and doesn't know that the lights have changed, that's a real sign she's not paying attention to the road. If she looks up just when you tell her the light is green, then she hasn't taken the time she needs to look for other traffic or pedestrians. Why don't you show her my driving video, my song, and ask her to sign the pledge?

Eleni, age 9, writes:

This was a great project! I loved taking the test and the poll! My parents don't text or talk on their phones anymore, but sometimes me and my sister can be pretty distracting, but we are working on it!

Ruff replies:

Good for you, Eleni! Keep working on it!

Leilani, age 9, writes:

I help my mom because she has to call, and when her phone rings she gets distracted, so I am the main helper, Ruff!

Ruff replies:

Also good for you, Leilani! Do you know Eleni from the previous question just above? It sounds like you two could be friends!

Lily, age 10, writes:

My mom texts at red lights, and usually I have to tell her to go when the light is green. Is that considered texting and driving?

Ruff replies:

I say yes, it is. Like I told Salsa, it's really not a great idea.

Ja-Lynn, age 9, writes:

Ruff, if your parents are in the car and they text a lot and you're the person in the car who tells them to stop texting while driving... but this time they're without you in the car and you're home!!! What do you do?

Ruff replies:

Excellent question, Ja-Lynn. That's why it's a great idea to take the pledge. If your parents know that YOU know that they're being unsafe, then hopefully they'll think about it even when you're not there to be the co-pilot.

Hony, age 10, writes:

I like what you're doing, Ruff. My mom also does. She thinks the videos are funny. I use your advice on my dad when he plays music.

Ruff replies:

You sound like a great copilot, Hony. Thanks for your help!

Nakiba, age 11, writes:

GPS are used to find directions, but sometimes there are pop-up ads. Are they very distracting to the driver, or a little distracting?

Ruff replies:

I'm going to say PROBABLY distracting. I don't know your particular device, but ads are designed to grab your attention, and that doesn't sound like a good thing while you're driving.

Little Mouse, age 10, writes:

My dad answers the phone while he is driving. I'm afraid that we will get in a car accident! What do I do?

Ruff replies:

Wait until you're home, and ask him if he'll watch a couple of funny videos with you. (Here's the secret: they are my driving video and my driving song!) You can also have our safe-driving pledge printed and all ready, and see if you can both sign it.

Brono525, age 9, writes:

And what about using your phone as a GPS?

Ruff replies:

Phones are great tools, and many have GPS functions. These are useful, but the important thing is to make sure the phone is in a dashboard holder, not in the driver's hand.

Ashley, age 7, writes:

What do you do if you need to take care of something important and you're driving?

Ruff replies:

While you're driving, the most important thing to take car of is... driving! If something else comes up that's also very important, either have the copilot take care of it, or pull over.

Susan writes:

Thanks so much for all the tips about driving! I am about to start to drive, and the videos and quiz helped remind me about what I should and should not do. Thanks a bunch!

Ruff replies:

You're welcome!

Siana, age 9, writes:

My mom is always on Facebook on her phone, even in the car, and once we were driving to my grandparents' house and my mom was on Facebook and she was not paying attention to the road, and she was going faster than the speed limit and got pulled over and had to pay a ticket. And that's how her phone is a distraction.

Ruff replies:

Siana, that is a great example of distracted driving. I hope your mom doesn't do that anymore. Luckily, it ended with nothing worse than a ticket.

Vinni, age 7, writes:

Sometimes my mom used to text and drive, but she promised only to text in the car if she is not the driver or if the car is parked. Another time we saw a lady putting make-up on in her car. That isn't safe. My mom doesn't do that. People also eat in the car. A little snack might be okay but it isn't safe to eat a big giant burrito.

Ruff replies:

Good for your mom! She's being a safe driver. And you're right: putting on makeup and eating big burritos are NOT good to do while driving. When I was in the off-off-off-off-Broadway production of "Taco! The Musical!" I put on my makeup BEFORE driving. Some people laughed at me (I don't forget these things, Chet and Blossom!), but I was being safe.

Ash, age 10, writes:

Often my family gets phone calls while they are driving. They usually ask me to get their phone and tell them who it is so they don't have to look off the road while they are driving to be safe.

Ruff replies:

Ash, that is a great way to be a helpful copilot! Thanks!

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