#LikeLife - Distracted Driving

​​Nearly 3 out of 4 Canadian drivers admit to driving distracted. You are 3.6 times more likely to crash if you use an electronic device while driving.1

IBC encourages Canadians to put down your cellphone and #likelife

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is one of the largest causes of collisions, injuries and deaths on Canada’s roads. It can take many forms – including texting, talking on the phone, eating and drinking and trying to program your GPS.2

The risk of collision increases when your eyes and attention are taken off the road. Distractions impair your driving performance and reduce your awareness. You may be slower to notice or less able to safely respond to critical events on the road.3

Top 10 Tips on How To Avoid Distractions While Driving

Top 10 Tips on how to avoid distractions while driving

4 Reasons Why Driving While Distracted (DWD) May Be the New DUI

Distracted driving is potentially as dangerous as driving drunk and is much more common. If you drive while distracted, you should know these facts:

  1. It takes only 3 seconds after a driver’s attention has been diverted for a crash to occur.4  
  2. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 90 km/h, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.5
  3. You are 23 times more likely to be involved in a collision if you text while driving and 4 times more likely if you talk on a cellphone (hand-held or hands-free) while driving.6
  4. You may be breaking the law. All provinces in Canada, plus the Yukon and Northwest Territories, have bans in place on using hand-held cellphones and electronic devices while driving. Depending on the legislation, penalties can include hefty fines and, in many cases, demerit points.

Penalties for Distracted Driving Across Canada

The following CAA chart summarizes current distracted driving penalties and hand-held device legislation from across Canada.7

Province or TerritoryFine(s)Demerit PointsMore Info
British Columbia
4Distractions While Driving - Cell Phones and Other Devices
$2873Alberta Transportation: Distracted Driving Legislation
Saskatchewan$5804SGI: Driver Distraction and Inattention
Ontario*$615 - $3,0003 - 6
Ontario.ca - Distracted Driving
Quebec$300 - $6005
Transports Québec: An Act to Amend the Highway Safety Code
New Brunswick$280
New Brunswick Public Safety: Driver distraction
Nova Scotia$233.95 - first offence
$348.95 - second offence
$578.95 - subsequent offences
4Nova Scotia Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal: Hands on the Wheel – Eyes on the Road
Prince Edward Island$500 - $1,200
5PEI Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal: No Cell Phones or Texting
Newfoundland and Labrador$300 - $1,0004Newfoundland and Labrador Road Users Guide (page 14)
Yukon$5003Motor Vehicles Act - NEW Cell Phone Use Legislative Change
Northwest Territories
$322 - $6443Drive Alive: Cell Phones and Texting
N/ANo Law


1Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, 2019.
2CAA, 2021.
3Transport Canada, 2019.
4,6Thinkinsure, 2020.
5National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
7CAA, 2021.