Behaviours – Speed

Did You Know?

Speed is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents in Québec. Going over the speed limit can trigger an accident. Food for thought!

Speed: never worth it and always dangerous!

Speed-related statistics

Speed is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents in Québec.

On average, in 44% of motorcyclist fatalities over the past 5 years, “speeding” was mentioned as one of the two main causes of the accident.

We can change the statistics

5 km/h slower can make a big difference!

According to some studies, reducing the average traffic speed by 5 km/h would decrease the number of accidents by 15% per year. 

If all drivers reduced their average speed, the number of injuries and deaths on Québec roads each year would go down considerably:

  • 12 fewer deaths if drivers reduced their speed by 1 km/h
  • 60 fewer deaths if drivers reduced their speed by 5 km/h
  • 120 fewer deaths if drivers reduced their speed by 10 km/h

These numbers are based on a total of 400 deaths.

Just 10 km/h faster can be too fast

Here is a concrete example of the effects of speed

You are driving at 50 km/h when you spot a pedestrian on the road about 31 metres (approximately 108 feet) away. You have enough time to react, brake and stop in time—provided your brakes are in good condition and the pavement is dry.

Illustration of the reaction, braking and stopping times for a vehicle travelling at 50 km/h.

Same example, but 10 km/h faster

You are driving at 60 km/h when you spot a pedestrian on the road.

The man is about 31 metres away (108 feet). You brake, but it is too late.

When you hit the pedestrian, you are still travelling at 42 km/h. At that speed, the pedestrian will likely be killed or left disabled for the rest of his life.

Illustration of the reaction, braking and stopping times for a vehicle travelling at 60 km/h.

Don't forget! Braking distances are longer for trucks than for cars

Trucks cannot manoeuvre as well or as fast as cars because they are bigger and heavier.

When braking, a loaded semi-trailer travelling at 96 km/h will stop 30.5 metres (about 100 feet) further than a car that was travelling at the same speed. That's almost double the braking distance.

Driving faster to gain a few minutes... It doesn't add up!

  • Driving at 70 km/h in a 50 km/h zone over a distance of 10 kilometres will save you barely 4 minutes.
  • Driving at 90 km/h in a 70 km/h zone over a distance of 15 kilometres will save you barely 3 minutes.
  • Driving at 110 km/h in a 90 km/h zone over a distance of 20 kilometres will save you barely 2 minutes.

Passagers, you have a say

Too fast? Don't be afraid to speak up!

When drivers have a lead foot, ask them to slow down. If they don't listen, ask them to let you out in a safe place where you can call someone to come pick you up.

Too reckless? Don't be afraid to speak up!

When drivers take themselves for Formula 1 drivers or simply want to impress you, let them know that all their manoeuvring doesn't impress you at all.

Speaking up will help you and your friends stay alive.