Speeding is a major contributing factor to car crash fatalities in B.C. The faster you go, the longer it takes to stop – and the more dangerous a crash can be.
So slow down and give yourself extra time to get to your destination. It’s not worth the risk to yourself, and to others.
Small changes in speed can make a big difference
You need time to see and react before your brakes take effect and slow you down; reducing your speed gives you more reaction time and less braking distance is required. Each time you double your speed, the stopping power needed is multiplied by four. The faster you're driving, the more power your car needs to stop.
Small changes in speed can have a significant impact. According to research published by the World Health Organization, an increase in average vehicle speed of 1 km per hour results in a 3% increase in the risk of a crash resulting in injury and a 4-5% increase in the risk of a fatal crash.
The cost of speeding
If you’re caught speeding, you end up paying in a number of ways – and the cost increases the more you speed.
Driver risk premium
If you have one or more excessive speeding tickets, you pay a
driver risk premium. It's based on convictions over a three-year period. You pay the driver risk premium on top of your cost of insurance.
Ticket fines increase the further over the speed limit you drive. If you're caught doing 20km/hr over the speed limit on a highway, you'll be ticketed $138; do more than 40km/hr, and the ticket is $368. In a school, playground or construction zone, the fines range from $196 to $483. For more information see our full listing of fines and points for B.C. traffic offences.
Besides the violation ticket fine and driver risk premium, police can immediately impound your vehicle for seven days if you're travelling more than 40 km per hour over the posted speed limit. This could escalate to 30 or 60 days for repeat offenders. You're then required to pay the vehicle towing and storage fees to get your vehicle back.
Most vehicles operate most fuel efficiently when travelling between 50 and 80km/hr and when maintaining a consistent speed. When you increase your speed above this range or vary your speed too frequently, your fuel consumption goes up. So watch your speed and save on gas.
Tips to stay safe
Allow at least two seconds' following distance behind other vehicles in good weather and road conditions (three seconds on a highway).
Slow down for poor weather conditions or uneven roads and increase your following distance to at least four seconds. Remember that the distance required to stop increases in wet or slippery conditions.
Don't speed up as someone is trying to pass you. Help the other driver get back into your lane by slowing down and making room.
Be realistic about your travel time and plan your trip beforehand. Increasing your speed does not decrease travel time in a meaningful way, so if you're running late, accept the delay. Better late than never.