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Speeding On Ice Road Truckers Will Earn You Massive Consequences

Driving on ice roads is no joke, and while the main characters on "Ice Road Truckers" usually make it through their runs alive, that's not always the case off-camera. According to an article in Business Insider, a British military veteran named Brett Colley moved to Canada in the early 2010s to become an ice road trucker, inspired by the reality television show. Colley was tragically killed in 2012 when his rig went off the road.

A lot of elements go into causing accidents like that. According to CBC News, in 2016, a fuel tanker broke through the ice on the Deline ice road, and the Infrastructure Department took two years to investigate why it happened. In the end, they found that the accident was the result of a crack in the ice, variations in the ice's thickness, and the fact that the truck was overweight. Kevin McLeod, the Infrastructure Department's deputy minister of asset management, explained that ice can be a very mysterious substance. "It's not like concrete or wood, where everybody understands and fully has tested the properties and knows the strengths and weaknesses of it," McLeod told CBC. "Ice is natural, made by Mother Nature, and doesn't repeat itself the same way every time." Thus, even those tasked with understanding the dangers of ice roads can still find themselves surprised by the behaviors of the ice.

Speed can be one factor that can lead to accidents, and thus the speed limits on ice roads are pretty strict, with severe penalties for disobeying.

Speeding can get you banned from the roads

In the Season 1 episode of "Ice Road Truckers" called  "Midseason Mayhem," driver Todd White was caught driving 16 mph over the speed limit, earning him a lifetime ban from the ice roads. White appealed the decision and was denied, effectively ending his career. "I'll probably end up selling my rig," White told the camera.

According to a 2009 article in Wheels.ca, speed limits on ice roads range from about 15 km/h to 35 km/h, which equals about 10-20 mph, and some parts of the roads even require drivers to stay under 10 km/h, which is equal to about 6 mph. Speeding can disturb the water under the ice and break the ice, plunging the truck into the icy waters.

The occasional accidents that viewers see on the show could often have ended a lot worse if the drivers were speeding more. In the Season 9 finale, "Icy Alliance," trucker Alex Debogorski collides with an empty tanker, and he remarks in the episode that it would have been a more severe accident if they were both traveling faster.

Speed limits on ice roads can vary based on the region they're located in. According to an article in The Guardian, some of the ice roads in Estonia have a very unusual rule about speed. The speed limits on these roads require drivers to drive either slower than 25 km/h (about 15 mph) or faster than 40 km/h (about 25 mph), but never between 25 and 40 km/h. This is because speeds in that range can cause a wave in the ice that can crack it. Therefore, it's pretty obvious why speed limits on these types of roads are so strictly enforced.