Distracted Driving: How to Identify and Coach Drivers’ Behavior

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 3,308 people were killed and an estimated additional 289,310 people were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2022. [1] Cambridge Mobile Telematics reports that there has been a 23% surge in distraction since 2020, and “the worst offenders are 240% more likely to crash than the safest drivers.” [2]

Cell phone usage is the top culprit of distracted driving, and in 2022, 12.1% of fatal distraction-affected crashes involved cell phone use. [3] Distracted driving can also include the following: eating, adjusting the radio, talking to a friend, and drowsiness. 

While these numbers reflect statistics about the general population, the figures are, unfortunately, not much different for commercial drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says distracted driving is the top cause of accidents for truck drivers. [4]

Although training and enforcing strict guidelines for distracted behavior can help, there’s a surefire way to ensure your drivers remain safe on the road: fleet safety technology. With full visibility into what happens on the road, fleet safety technology can help managers identify, monitor, and mitigate distracted driving behavior. It can also help drivers continuously improve their own driving and ultimately boost road safety.

Using AI-powered Technology to Mitigate Distracted Driving

Using artificial intelligence-powered fleet safety technology is the only way to ensure complete visibility into distracted driving behaviors. With cameras capturing the full picture of driver performance in real-time, fleet managers can immediately identify symptoms of distracted driving to encourage safer driving habits.

Netradyne’s Driver•i fleet safety and management system gives fleet managers this real-time view to support coaching in-the-moment as well as training when drivers are off the road. Here’s how it works:

Edge Computing and In-Cab Alerts 

Modern fleet management solutions incorporate edge computing to process data almost immediately without the need for event-based “triggers.” (By contrast, older trigger-based technology records incidents only as they occur.) Driver•i’s unique edge-computing fleet management software provides constant visibility into a driver’s behaviors and surroundings, showing the full sequence of events leading up to an incident. 

Driver•i also enables in-cab safety alerts, so drivers can receive notifications about any potential distracted driving behavior. The alerts may come from the system itself — removing the wrist-slapping feeling a driver might feel if the alert comes from a human fleet manager. But the system also allows for a fleet manager to ping the driver in-cab if they see them doing anything hazardous.

Coaching Opportunities

The right fleet safety technology should provide opportunities for fleet managers to train drivers off-road but also for drivers to train themselves. 

The real-time performance insight mentioned above gives fleet managers data they can bring to training sessions with drivers to make coaching sessions more personalized. Managers can improve training by addressing specific issues drivers have dealt with in real life — not hypothetical or repetitive scenarios — underscored by footage from real situations captured on camera.

Managers also have the opportunity to use systems like Driver•i to showcase positive driving and shine spotlights on stellar performance. Showing instances of high-performing driving demonstrates to other drivers what real examples of safe driving look like. Spotlighting these great drivers cultivates a culture of positive motivation. You can couple your positive driving recognition with reward systems or programs to further motivate drivers to do their best.

Leveraging in-cab alerts from the Driver•i system itself is yet another way to support coaching. When drivers get notified by the system of potentially distracted behavior, they can self-correct and take responsibility for improving their performance into their own hands. By giving drivers autonomy in this way, managers offer drivers the chance to train themselves.

Slash Your Fleet’s Distracted Driving Habits Today

Netradyne’s Driver•i technology results in up to a 67% reduction in distracted driving.* With the rates of distracted driving going up every year — and getting more life-threatening — there’s no time like the present to embrace fleet management solutions that help you get ahead of this dangerous behavior. Driver•i gives you full visibility into your fleet performance, it gives your drivers the power to mitigate their own distracted driving behavior, and it allows you to cultivate a safety-first culture built on positive recognition. Book a demo of Netradyne’s Driver•i AI fleet camera system today to see how it works.  


  1. https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/2022-traffic-deaths-2023-early-estimates 
  2. https://www.cmtelematics.com/distracted-driving-report-2023/ 
  3. https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/motor-vehicle/motor-vehicle-safety-issues/distracted-driving/ 
  4. https://www.womenintrucking.org/blog/truck-drivers-distractions 

*Based on customer data.

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