Sunday, May 28, 2023


How often do you use your phone or text while driving?


In issue 797 of the newsletter, editor Chuck Woodbury talks about texting or phone use while driving. How would you describe your habits? Now, be honest!

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Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.


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Dan Carioggia
5 years ago

Texting and talking on the phone while driving is not legal in S.C. yet we see people do it all the time. Until law enforcement starts to treat this like drunken driving my fear is that it will continue.

Rory Roberts
5 years ago

We have a rule, that the navigator (passenger) answers both phones, we do not use hands-free or bluetooth. I had an accident a few years back on my way home from work, not a really bad one but it shook me up. I was using a hands-free device, talking RV to a friend, when freeway traffic stopped because of a construction zone. When I realized the traffic had stopped I jammed on my brakes, but stopped a few inches later then I should have. Now if there is no passenger, leave a message, if we’re in the RV the navigator handles both phones, the built-in GPS, and any other e-devices in use.

Mike Buchanan
5 years ago

Texting I have seen way to often. I usually beep at them and shake my finger at them. They drop the phone pretty quick
Texting is bad enough but lipstick and mascara really floor me.
As a bus driver it’s just amazing what you see when you are high up looking down..
Can’t but help think they have an early death wish.

5 years ago

Living in the U.K. cured us of phone use while driving: stiff fines, traffic cameras and two hands to drive (stick shift is almost universal). We’re back in the US now, with automatic transmission, but have agreed to not use phones. The passenger can, and, does receive calls or texts, but never the one driving. If I’m driving alone, I check voicemail or texts once I arrive. Somehow, we survived for many years without car phones. It’s not that hard to wait. We just got addicted to instant access.

Debbie Hansen
5 years ago

I only use my phone while traveling as my GPS texting never….I do not understand why people have to be texting someone while driving. A number of years ago I had a friend killed because someone was texting while driving he slammed into her pushing her into oncoming traffic. Unfortunately every single day I see ALOT of people texting even though it’s illegal in my state. I have also stepped way back from even talking on my phone while driving most days my phone is in my purse in the back seat of my car. I am content to listen to music and unfortunately watch for inattentive driver’s.

5 years ago

I hope it gets to the point that every licensed vehicle is required to have a jamming device installed that prevents the use of any device while the ignition is turned on. That would include hands free and bluetooth as well. Since too many people seem unable to control their urges to communicate unnecessarily it’s time for the government to step in and help protect fellow motorists, pedestrians, or even folks sitting on their front porches from these self centered careless morons. It’s far past time to shut down inconsiderate drivers that think nothing of putting their own and others lives in danger voluntarily. Some would argue that having a phone can help save lives when reporting an emergency becomes necessary. In that case pulling over and shutting the car off is almost always an available option. I also think that the ridiculous large screen information centers in most modern vehicles is comparable to watching TV while driving. Driving a vehicle on public roadways should be a responsibility that’s taken seriously. No call or text is serious enough to put lives at risk.

5 years ago

Never text. My phone is bluetooth, hands free but do use unless necessary. Even then, I will just answer and not talk to caller until I can pull over safely. It is illegal to use the phone in our province and is strictly enforced.

Diane M
5 years ago

We never use the phone or text while driving because we don’t want our kids doing it. The least we can do is set a good example.

5 years ago

I hate to say it but those votes are not truly accurate. I think we have some folks here who do not want to admit they do talk on the phone. I agree that texting is a big no no. But talking and driving? The way things are hands free? I do a lot of calling when I get off work before i get home. A big bennie for me. So folks? Admit it. You talk more then often?

5 years ago
Reply to  Jillie


J. French
5 years ago

None as in zero.
When I retired 4 years ago at age 60 after being an Oilfield Drilling Supt. working Internationally with a satellite phone as a constant companion, 1st item that hit the trash can was the cell phone.
I have never missed it once.
Wife has 1 for herself which I may receive a call once a month.

Shannon Gallet
5 years ago

I stopped answering my phone, Bluetooth, hands free or otherwise,, years ago when I realized that during a heated conversation with a work issue, I had closed my eyes and pounded on the steering wheel. When I opened my eyes it dawned on me that 1. I was still driving. 2. I had gone about a mile and didn’t even remember the drive. I’m extremely lucky I didn’t have or cause an accident. It drives my hubby nuts, but I refuse to answer the phone while driving. Leave me a message, I’ll get back to you. Needless to say don’t text either.

5 years ago

I believe all use of cell phone – handsfree, bluetooth, etc should be banned.

How did we ever live in the past not being connected with others 24/7? I enjoy not being connected all the time.

5 years ago

We NEVER use the phone for making, receiving or texting when we are driving. It is illegal in the UK and there have been many studies which show that blue tooth or hands free is still as distracting as being DUI. It’s easy to spot someone using a phone while driving as they wander from lane to lane.


5 years ago

A year ago this week my husband and I purchased our first RV. Prior to this purchase neither of us had ever been in an RV. Our first ride was with the Manager of the sales dept. at one of the largest RV dealerships on the east coast. Not only was I a little nervous sitting in the passenger seat for my first ride but on a two lane road crossing a narrow bridge. I look over and the Sales Manager is TEXTING as he is driving a new 38′ class A!

5 years ago
Reply to  Dee

you should have told him to stop because you wanted out and walked back to get your car. Taking a picture of him to post online would have been as he has no right to risk your lives. It would have most likely meant a change in careers for him.

Chuck Woodbury/
5 years ago
Reply to  CJG

It may not have meant a change in his career. Most states do not ban texting while driving even though riding with a texting driver is every bit as dangerous as driving with a drunk one. The salesman’s boss may text: if so, he’ll just think the salesman is keeping in touch. Texting while driving is common with younger people. Please watch the Werner Hertzog movie I mentioned in my essay.

Dick and Sandy near Buffalo, NY
5 years ago

When driving our Class A, the passenger always has both cell phones. Blue Tooth is used when driving our toad or daily driver and no driver texting. Accidents do happen but driving and texting is a crime, not an accident.

Lori Singels
5 years ago

People who have a conversation on any equipment, Blue Tooth or not, while driving are distracted and semi-nonfunctional, and I don’t want them anywhere near me and my RV. I keep wanting to say to such drivers: Can’t that conversation wait? Is it worth your life and the lives of others? In Oregon it’s against the law to either text or talk. Unfortunately, 40% of drivers do it anyway.

5 years ago

Neither the article nor poll took into account the technology that is now available in phones and even cars IF used correctly. Far beyond handsfree bluetooth, my entire truck is voice operated, so my hands and eyes literally never need leave the wheel/road. “Wipers on”, “radio off”, “read new texts” and voice synthesis, “reply” and subsequent dictation of any message, etc etc etc are all available commands. I’ve trained myself to the system and think I am LESS distracted by calls/texts than talking to present passengers (especially bored backseat kids!).

The poll was right to ignore tech…because it doesn’t matter as much as people believe…

I said “I think”… What your article only brushed on is that hands and eyes aren’t any good without your brain… Talking to passengers OR phone are still both taking too much processing away from driving your 18000lb rig down the road safely. With ANY complex or emotional discussion, REGARDLESS of handsfree, PLEASE do like your parents and “pull this car over” while you talk.

Chuck Woodbury/
5 years ago
Reply to  Wolfe

What I did not mention is that even talking on the phone hands free has also been shown to distract a driver and raise the likelihood of an accident. You really should read the book A Deadly Wandering that I mentioned in my essay. It not only explores what happens when we talk or text with our phones, but also how our brains function when we are addicted to technology, and/or multitasking.

5 years ago

I agree about phones being a distraction, even hands free. As we get older our response time isn’t as fast as it used to be, and I hated admitting that, but we need all our concentration for driving safely. I am in my late 60s and my husband is 82 so I know about distractions and driving. My husband is a scenic driver so he doesn’t drive the RV. If anyone needs to get in touch with me they will have to wait until I can safely pull over.

Sherry Dawson
5 years ago

Should read the recommended book while driving? My dad did! Many times when I rode with him as a kid, he would have a paperback propped on the steering wheel. I made it my job to sit closely beside him, watch the road, and be ready to grab the wheel and yell, “Daddy, look out.” I’m as addicted to reading as he was, but would never considered reading while driving. (I never talk on the phone or text either). However, I was very happy when audio books came into my life, as I now always listen in the car when driving alone. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety research found that the level of distraction when drivers become engrossed in an audio book was slightly higher than when drivers merely listened to the radio, but the difference is not significant enough to warrant alarm, and that overall distraction levels remained relatively low.

Once I go full-time, however, I expect the scenery will usually be the only entertainment I need if I plan my route well!

Debra Enzler
5 years ago

I never use my cell phone while driving. If I feel the need to I pull over in a safe place, park, then I will respond to cell calls, texts, etc. I don’t want to become a statistic nor do I want to be responsible for causing an accident. It’s not worth taking that chance! I’m out in my RV to enjoy life not destroy it.

RV Staff
5 years ago
Reply to  Debra Enzler

Good plan, Debra! —Diane at

K Nutter
5 years ago

I only use my phone for calls using the bluetooth/handsfree option. I never text and I never use my phone handheld. I have an automatic outgoing message when I’m in the car. If I receive a text, my phone knows it’s in the car and connected to bluetooth, so it automatically sends a text reply that tells the person I’m driving in the car and will text them back when I reach my destination.

RV Staff
5 years ago
Reply to  K Nutter

Excellent, K! —Diane at

Mark Hallewell
5 years ago

Do I use my phone when traveling? Yes, but only when someone calls me first. Do I text when traveling? No. I will often let people know ahead of time that I will be on the road and unable to respond to their text messages.

5 years ago

I hand the device to the passenger or wait till I’m stopped. Usually a stop light or other traffic interruption will give me a chance to peek. Don’t text or read while moving.

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