Be safe. Reply later.

Distracted driving is unsafe and illegal

It’s happened to all of us. You’re driving and you hear that familiar sound of a message coming in.

It’s your boss looking for an update to that project. Or a friend or family member with an urgent question.

Then another alert. And another.

It’s so tempting to open your device and reply, especially when stopped in traffic.

While it seems inconsequential, distracted driving is anything but. It’s not only unsafe, but also illegal.

So we are asking you to wait. Wait to scroll. Wait to reply. And wait to send that message.  Even while waiting at a red light. Wait until you get where you are going. Or, if it is that urgent, pull over and come to a complete stop.

Be safe. Reply later. You are too important and so are the people around you.

Please. Before driving, set your phone to Do Not Disturb so you can give your full, undivided attention to the road ahead. 

How to set your phone to Do Not Disturb

Don’t know how to use Do Not Disturb? Click the links below to learn how to set this feature on your phone.

Be Safe. Drive smart.

What is distracted driving?

Distracted driving is a serious issue that puts drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists at risk.

As technology has evolved, distractions are more than just our phone. In vehicles, dashboard screens and limitless features can easily take our eyes off the road.

Distracted driving occurs when a drivers’ attention is diverted from the driving task to something else such as:

  • texting
  • emailing
  • scrolling
  • talking on the phone
  • eating/drinking
  • using an entertainment or navigation system.
  • using electronic devices like laptop computers, video games, cameras, video entertainment displays and programming portable audio players (e.g., MP3 players) 
  • reading printed materials in the vehicle 
  • writing, printing or sketching 
  • personal grooming such as brushing and flossing teeth or putting on makeup 

What are the consequences?

Distracted driving is one of the largest causes of collisions, injuries and deaths on Canada’s roads.

  • Roughly 47 per cent of Canadian drivers admit to using their mobile phones while driving.
  • Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of collisions.
  • Taking your eyes off the road for five seconds at 90 km per hour is the same as driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
  • Distracted driving contributes to an estimated 21 per cent of fatal collisions and 27 per cent of serious collisions.
  • There were 13,012 distracted driving convictions in Alberta in 2021.
  • The risk of a crash is two times more likely if eyes are off the road for two seconds.
  • You are eight times more likely to crash while texting and driving.
  • About 26 per cent of collisions involve hand-held or hands-free phone use.
  • You face a $300 minimum fine and three demerits for distracted driving in Alberta.

Sources: AMA, Transport Canada.

How to stay focused on the road

Get all your distractions out of the way before driving:

  • Put your phone away or set to Do Not Disturb
  • Set your playlist, podcast, safety features, navigation, whatever it is, before you drive 
  • Ensure your Bluetooth is properly connected before departure 
  • Stow and secure loose objects 
  • Prepare children with everything they need before driving 
  • Always keep two hands on the wheel 
  • Keep your eyes on the road

Tools and Resources