Speeding is still one of the leading causes for collisions and injuries on Canadian roads.
It may seem like you’re in control, but you’re not. Speeding is dangerous and every year, it is estimated, that about 800 Canadians are killed and 3,000 are seriously injured because of speed-related collisions. Alarmingly however, hundreds of thousands of Canadian drivers don’t heed the speed limit. In Ontario alone last year, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) laid more than 240,000 speeding charges against drivers—and that’s just on the roads the OPP patrols. The numbers are sure to be much higher once you factor in the speeders caught by local city, or regional, police.
Needless to say, there are a whole lot of drivers taking unnecessary and life-threatening risks by speeding. At best, speeders run the risk of getting a ticket, which could result in higher auto insurance premiums. But in the worst case scenario, they’re increasing their chances of being involved in a collision and hurting themselves—or someone else.
Why is speeding so dangerous?
The Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) took an interesting approach to explain why speeding is dangerous. According to SAAQ, it’s all about the laws of physics.
- Speeding reduces your field of vision: Your brain can only process so much information, and the faster you drive, the less peripheral vision information you’ll take in.
- Speeding increases your braking distance: The faster you go, the longer it will take for you to come to a complete stop.
- Speeding reduces the time you have to perform emergency manoeuvres: The faster you drive, the less likely you’ll have the time needed to avoid a situation you may have missed seeing or came upon unexpectedly.
- Speeding increases the chance of you losing control of your car: You’re more likely to lose control of your vehicle while speeding, especially when navigating a curve.
- Speeding increases the severity of collisions: The faster you go, the harder the collision.
Heed the limit, stay within it
For safety’s sake, keep an eye on your speedometer and drive as per the conditions. Posted speed limits designate the fastest speed at which you can safely travel in optimal road conditions. When roads—and the weather—are not ideal, slow down. If there’s rain or fog in the forecast, adjust your driving to fit the conditions.
Speeding tickets and your auto insurance
While not everyone realizes the safety risks they’re taking when they speed, everyone knows that getting pulled over for speeding could mean more than just a ticket. It could translate into higher car insurance premiums. But, this isn’t always the case.
If you’re caught speeding and it’s your one and only traffic violation, there’s a chance your rates won’t be affected. It depends on your driving history, your record, your auto insurer, and just how much over the posted limit you were driving. Get a second or third ticket and your car insurance rates will increase for sure.