A survey that sampled 1,009 Canadian adults in April 2022 found that 37 per cent of those surveyed admitted to using their phones while driving. However, Canada's percentage was lower than the States, in which over half of those surveyed (55 per cent) admitted to using their phones.
According to the survey, as many as 43.8 per cent of Canadians aged 18-24 admitted to using the phone while behind the wheel. State-side, Americans aged 18-24 were actually the least likely of all age groups to use their mobile phones, with only 41.3 per cent admitting to doing so.
"Gender also seems to play into mobile phone usage during a drive, with around two-fifths of Canadian men and three-fifths of American men admitting to doing so," the survey stated.
But when the survey asked Canadians to elaborate on what exactly they're doing on their phones while driving, 65.1 per cent of Canadians admitted they would most likely be using a navigation application, while 53.6 per cent admitted to texting after checking their route. The third most commonly used application while driving was music applications.
Apart from using phones while driving, the survey also found that the most common habit of those driving is snacking on some food, with over half (55.6 per cent) of Canadians admitting to eating while driving, while 40.8 per cent admitted to speeding. 15 per cent also admitted to running a red light.
According to the province's distracted driving laws, anything from using hand-held cell phones, texting or e-mailing, using electronic devices such as laptop computers, video games, cameras, video entertainment displays and programming portable audio players such as MP3 players, entering information on GPS units, reading printed materials in the vehicle, writing, printing or sketching, as well as personal grooming such as brushing and flossing teeth, putting on makeup, curling hair, clipping nails or shaving can make for a distracted driving fine.
"You can be charged with distracted driving, even if your driving performance does not appear to be affected."
However, if you are permitted to use a cell phone in hands-free mode, use an earphone, drink a beverage like– coffee, water or pop, eat a snack, smoke and talk with fellow passengers.
And if you do need to check your google maps or any other navigation system, you can do so, as long as the system is affixed to the vehicle and programmed before you begin driving or the system is voice activated. You cannot hold the unit or manually enter information while driving.
The penalty for distracted driving in Alberta is a $300 fine and 3 demerit points.