Regenerative braking is an important factor in improving hybrid electric vehicle efficiency. This paper proposes a new regenerative braking strategy that activates preemptively during a distracted driving scenario, before service brakes are utilized. The strategy uses onboard advanced driver assistance systems, such as forward facing radar, to detect when an object is approaching fast enough to enable regenerative braking in response. The proposed strategy is simulated on a full-vehicle model of a series plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. A driver model is developed to mimic the behavior of a distracted driver through delayed response time to the changing speed of a lead vehicle. Multiple trials are simulated using different combinations of existing regenerative braking strategies along with the proposed strategy. Results show that a preventative regenerative braking control strategy can recuperate significant amounts of energy while also improving vehicle safety. Coupling the proposed strategy with an existing brake pedal regeneration strategy returns energy recuperation results that are higher than a system consisting of brake pedal regeneration coupled with coast regeneration.