Distracted Driving

Image of driver and passenger looking at their cell phones in the car

As a driver, it is your responsibility to keep your focus on your driving. Distractions such as cell phones, reading and eating take your attention off the road. Research shows that this reduces driver performance and increases the risk of error behind the wheel. 

The fine for distracted driving in Alberta is $287 and 3 demerits. Alberta’s distracted driving law restricts drivers from doing any of the following while driving:

  • Using hand-held cellphones
  • Texting or e-mailing
  • Using electronic devices like laptop computers, video games, cameras, video entertainment displays, and programming portable audio players (e.g., ipods)
  • Entering information on GPS units
  • Reading printed materials in the vehicle
  • Writing, printing or sketching
  • Personal grooming

Avoid distractions while driving

  • Be prepared - Before you leave, ensure the temperature, media system and GPS are set so you don't have to adjust them while driving.
  • Prepare safe activities for children - Ensure they are comfortable and properly buckled up before leaving. Research shows that children can be more distracting than a cell phone when driving. To learn moreread the report from the Monash University Accident Research Centre.
  • Put your cell phone out of reach - If you can't reach your cell phone, you will be less likely to use it while driving.
  • Park safely if needed - If you need to take a phone call, attend to your child or obtain directions, park in a safe place before doing so.
  • Take rest breaks - If you need to eat and drink, plan rest stops instead of doing it while driving. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Further information:

Distracted driving
is defined as the diversion of attention from driving as a result of the driver focusing on a non-driving object, activity, event or person.

FACTS
Driver distraction contributes to 20-30% of all collisions.

A car going 50 km/h travels about 13.9m in one second. One second is enough to cause a collision.

Last updated: Thursday, January 31, 2019
Page ID: 44173