VIEWPOINT - The Cost of Following the Speed Limit

SoapboxI am 79 years old and I consider myself a very safe driver. I have driven hundreds of thousand of miles, from city bus in Edmonton, to semi trailer from Edmonton to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Fort Mac. and Yellow Knife, and thousands of miles by private auto. I have never been the cause of an accident, and I have only gotten one (1) speeding ticket. That was not entirely my fault. They had moved the warning sign from one side of the bridge to the other, it was dark and there was a car coming toward me with one light. I missed the sign. I always drive the speed limit.

Driving the speed limit costs money. Yes it does. We had a Subaru, and every time we drove to Edmonton for Xmass it cost us one and sometimes two head lights, at $254.00 each. We don't have that car any more, now we drive a bigger, safer vehicle. But we still get rock chips in the windshield, and twice we had to replace windshields, just because we drive the speed limit, and nobody else does. We went to Edmonton on the 2nd of this month, and had to have a rock chip fixed to the tune of $62.00.

Can you give us some answers as how we can avoid all this cost just for driving the speed limit? Please do not tell me to stay home.

Would you please elaborate a bit on how this damage that you speak of is caused by you doing the speed limit?

In reply to by DriveSmartBC

Very simple, no one else drives the speed limit now days.  They wipe by you doing 10, 20, 30km or more throwing stones.  On our way home 3 days ago, one lady passed us on double yellow lines twice.  I do drive up to 3km over the speed limit but no more.

In reply to by DriveSmartBC

You seem to have less luck than I have. This has only happened to me once and it was in a stretch of highway being seal coated and posted at 50 km/h. Some clown in a pickup blasted by in the opposite lane at about 80, which was the normal limit for that highway. He threw gravel all over my vehicle and broke the windshield. I managed to get his license plate number as he went by.

I went to ICBC and made a claim. They took pictures and made notes on my vehicle and then interviewed the other vehicle's owner. "No idea, I was never driving there" was the response. I was then told that if I wanted the windshield replaced I could pay my deductible like everyone else.

In short, I have some experience with what you are complaining about.

Unfortunately, I don't have a simple solution to this for you. I'm not going to advocate that you no longer follow the speed limit because I am sure that no matter how fast you go, there will always be one driver in the bunch that has to go faster, so while it might reduce the problem, it won't eliminate it. It will also bring the risks that speed holds, even if that is just a speeding ticket and penalty points.

Maybe other site visitors will have some insight....


There isn't much you can do, so just accept it as part of the normal cost of operating a vehicle.  If you've driven a lot then you know that vehicles cost money, period.  Simply driving costs money; cars will need tires, brakes, tune ups, oil changes, etc., regardless of whether you drive the speed limit or not.  In fact, by driving the speed limit regularly you probably save money by being more fuel efficient, and putting less wear and tear on your vehicle in general.  That money you save, you spend on rock chips and headlights! The person who speeds may spend that exact same amount on gas and vehicle components.  So maybe you're spending the same amount of money, except you are traveling at a safe speed and the other guy isn't.  

If you never speed, how do you know that these same things won't happen to drivers who do?  How have you come to the conclusion that going the speed limit costs money?  Sure people pass you because they are speeding and you're not, but there is almost always someone who will be going faster than you, regardless of your speed.  If you speed and still end up with broken headlights and cracked windshields, how much does that cost? More or less than what you're complaining about? Is it even reasonable to entertain the idea of you being willing to sacrifice your safety to save some money?  How much is your safety worth? Have you calculated that? Have you considered the idea that there isn't just "speeding" and "not speeding?" Drivers drive at all different speeds.  If a highway has a limit of 80 km/hr, there may be people driving 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 100 or more.  Maybe the guy going 90 gets a rock chip from the guy going 100, plus he's spent more money on gas and taken the risk of speeding.  Large trucks often throw rocks at windows, too; and that can happen at any speed.  A truck going much slower than you can throw a rock at you from an adjacent lane.  Is that the cost of speeding, or the cost of driving?  

General ways of saving money?  Use an affordable, fuel efficient car, so that when you get a rock chip, or need a headlight, it's not the end of the world, but a normal part of being the owner of a vehicle. 

Have you ever driven up in the Yukon?  I traveled up there a few winters ago.  Every single vehicle that I saw had an enormous crack  in the windshield.  It's a result of the conditions up there, not necessarily a result of obeying the law. 

Just accept it and enjoy the privilege of driving.