Road Safety

Overview

Speeding is a significant traffic safety problem. In fact, it is one of the most reported factors associated with crashes.

Many people think speeding is driving above the maximum speed limit. But speeding can also refer to travelling too fast for weather, road or traffic conditions – even if you aren’t exceeding the speed limit. Speeders typically fail to adjust their speed to the prevailing conditions, including the flow of traffic, which causes risks to the driver, other motorists and pedestrians.

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Risk Factors

Be aware that you need to consider factors such as weather, road surface, road design, location and personal state when driving. This means you can be travelling too fast even if you are not exceeding the speed limit.

  • Weather – rain, snow, wind: weather can affect road conditions and your field of vision, requiring more time and distance for you to stop.
  • Road surface: different road surfaces such as pavement, gravel or ice will change the time and distance needed to stop.
  • Road design – curves: slow down to the recommended speed or lower depending on prevailing weather and road conditions.
  • Location: your speed needs to be reasonable and prudent when driving in areas such as school zones, playgrounds and construction zones.
  • Driver condition: your physical and emotional state will affect your ability to drive.

Speed increases stopping distance. Speed increases the distance your vehicle travels between the point when you identify and decide on how to deal with an emergency and the point when you actually react. It also increases the distance you need to stop a vehicle once you do react.

  • Motorists travelling at higher rates of speed or driving too fast for conditions have less time to react, take longer to stop in an emergency and don’t always see warning and advisory signs. If you’re driving over the posted speed limit, your braking distance can be multiplied up to four times. This increases even more in wet or icy road conditions so drivers should always drive to conditions.

Speed increases the severity of a crash. The greater the speed, the shorter the reaction time and the greater the risk of death or serious injury.

  • The faster you go, the harder you collide. Travelling even 10 km/h less can reduce the force of a crash, which could be the difference between life and death. By speeding or not driving to road conditions, you’re putting yourself, fellow motorists and pedestrians at great risk and ensuring they’re significantly more likely to be killed in a collision.

Speed reduces control. Speed can reduce your ability to steer safely around curves on highways or objects in the roadway.

Costs of Speeding

In addition to the physical risks of speeding, this dangerous driving behavior can also impact your wallet.

  • Manitoba has some of the highest speeding fines in North America. Fines for travelling 10 km/h over the posted speed limit start at $181.50, not to mention the effect it has on your Driver Safety Rating (DSR) and the price you’ll pay for your licence and insurance. In designated construction zones, the set fine for speeding will be doubled, even if there are no workers present.
  • Higher speeds reduce the ability of vehicles and safety systems to protect occupants. This reduces the effectiveness of automobile systems such as braking, steering and tire traction.
  • Speeding increases your fuel costs. Fuel efficiency and litres per kilometre, decreases steadily above 65 km/h. Passenger cars and light trucks use approximately 50 per cent more fuel travelling at 120 km/h than they do at 90 km/h.
  • Speeding has a cost on the environment. As speed increases, pollutants increase. From 90 km/h to 110 km/h, there is a 100 per cent increase in carbon monoxide emissions, 50 per cent increase in hydrocarbons, and 31 per cent increase in nitrogen oxides.