National Distracted Driving Awareness Month 2023


April has been designated as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, to place focus on ways to change behavior through legislation, enforcement, public awareness, and education. This is a good time to review Company driver training and practices/policies related to distracted driving.

Distracted Driving Statistics:

  • NHTSA reports that in 2021, distracted driving killed 3,522 people (up from 3,142 in 2020).
  • An FMCSA study shows that CMV drivers texting while driving are 23.2 times more likely to be involved in an accident that those not driving distracted.
  • ATRI’s 2022 Crash Study found that drivers with a conviction for reckless or inattentive driving have a 62% greater chance of a DOT accident.

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is driving while engaging in any activity that diverts your full attention from the task of driving, including:

  • Visual distraction – doing something that requires the driver to look away from the roadway, such as:
    • Watching another device, such as a tablet or computer,
    • Looking at paperwork,
    • Looking at directions;
  • Manual distraction – doing something that requires the driver to take hands off of the steering wheel, such as:
    • Eating and drinking,
    • Adjusting the stereo or navigation system;
  • Mental distraction – thinking about something other than driving, such as:
    • Daydreaming or thinking about things other than driving,
    • Engaging in involved discussions with other people in your vehicle;
    • Talking or texting on your phone involves all three of these distractions.

Training Frequency:

  1. What training is provided?
  2. How often is refresher training offered?
  3. Is training assigned after an event?

Helpful Training Items Focused on Distracted Driving Month:

Link to FMCSA driver materials on distracted driving –

Link to FMCSA driver visor card on distracted driving –

How Do You Monitor, Coach, and Hold Drivers Accountable for Distracted Driving?

  • Inward-facing cameras:
    • How are events handled?
    • Are the drivers allowed to “self-coach” before an event is triggered?
    • What is the coaching process?
    • What policies/progressive discipline are in place for these types of events when self-coaching doesn’t work?
  • Other telematics:
    • Are instances of hard-braking, lane departure, following too close, etc., reviewed for evidence of distracted driving?
    • What is the coaching/discipline process?
  • Hand-held cell phones:
    • For CMV drivers, these are banned, and can result in tickets/violations/fines, and CSA points to both the driver and the Motor Carrier.
    • What are the consequences for these types of events?
  • Hands-free cell phones:
    • Are drivers allowed by company policy to use hands-free devices?
    • While allowed by DOT, we all know that hands-free is not minds-free.
    • Are drivers instructed to keep discussions to a minimum, and to pull over to a safe place before engaging in an emotional conversation?
  • Calls from dispatch:
    • Are dispatchers/managers respectful of drivers on the road and do they refrain from calling while the driver is engaged in driving activities?
  • Eating/drinking:
    • Are drivers given adequate break time, so they are not trying to eat while driving?
  • Team driving:
    • Are passengers of teams required to stay alert and on the lookout for hazards?

Other Resources:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA):

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):,Need%20to%20send%20a%20text%3F

National Safety Council (NSC):

American Trucking Research Institute (ATRI):