CDL Driving Safely: Distracted and Aggressive Driving

  • Distractions take your attention away from driving.
  • Can cause collisions, resulting in injury, death or property damage.
  • Can occur inside or outside the vehicle.
  • 8% of crashes involved an external distraction and 2% of crashes involve an internal distraction.


  • Slow perception, delayed decision making and improper reactions

Physical Distractions

  • Reaching for an object

Mental Distractions

  • Thinking about something that happened during the day

Cell/Mobile Phones

  • Use severely restricted due to their impact on driving.
  • Can only use a hands free mobile phone.
  • CDL will be disqualified after two or more convictions of using hand-held mobile use while operating a CMV.
  • Odds are being in a safety critical event is 6 times greater in dialing a mobile phone.
  • Dialing takes your eyes off the roadway for an average of 3.8 seconds.
  • Texting defined as sending/receiving messages, emails, instant messages, accessing the Internet.
  • Texting takes more attention off the road than driving.
  • Odds of being in a safety critical event is 23.2 times greater for texting drivers.

Other Distracted Drivers

  • Pay attention for inconsistent driving around you.
  • Give plenty of room and maintain a safe following distance.

Aggressive Driving

  • Don’t be aggressive even when the drivers around you are aggressive.
  • Some strategies:
    • Listen to easy listening music.
    • Give the drive your full attention.
    • Be realistic about travel time.
    • Give other drivers the benefit of the doubt.
    • Slow down and keep following distance reasonable.
    • Drive appropriately in left lane.
    • Avoid gestures, keep your hands on the wheel.
  • When confronted by an aggressive driver:
    • Make every attempt to get out of their way.
    • Do not challenge them, let go of your pride.
    • Ignore gestures.
    • Report aggressive drivers to the authorities.
    • Call the police if necessary and safe to do so.
  • Try to defuse a situation so it doesn’t end in road rage.