To Speed or Not to Speed: States Pushing Speeds on Highways Beyond Their Usual Limits

To Speed or Not to Speed: States Pushing Speeds on Highways Beyond Their Usual Limits

March 15, 2019

You may have noticed posted speed limits on the highway getting higher and higher across the country over the last couple decades. This is a trend that’s been highly favored by motorists, especially in rural areas, who want to be able to get to their destinations faster. Now, there are some activists and legislators around the country who wish to take the trend to the next level and abolish speed limits altogether, creating something resembling an American version of Germany’s Autobahn. It would certainly reduce the phone calls made to lawyers in Lubbock, TX about handling speeding tickets!

One proponent of such a measure is California state senator John Moorlach, who is in favor of creating a stretch of highway in the state that would have no speed limit. Drivers would be able to go as fast as they desire in this designated area.

Not everyone is fully on board

However, one can expect some significant opposition to this idea as it gets brought up more and more across the country. Vehicle safety advocates and experts are trying to go in the opposite direction, to reduce speed limits that they say have reached levels that fall somewhere in the spectrum of risky to dangerous.

Representatives from the National Safety Council say there have been studies that indicate rising speed limits have a correlation with higher death counts on American highways.

Central to these studies have been some western states that have some very long, wide open areas of rural road, such as Idaho, Montana, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. These states have all allowed speed limits of 80 miles per hour on some highways, and Texas even has an 85 mile per hour speed limit on part of its State Highway 130. These speed limits have been creeping upward as technology in vehicles has advanced to the point where they are safer and more powerful. In addition, with the falling prices of gasoline, there also aren’t as many concerns for some legislators about poor fuel efficiency.

The Governors Highway Safety Association, for its part, says there has not been much if a difference in highway deaths since the change of the speed limits. There were 9,717 traffic deaths related to speed in 2017 out of the 37,133 total traffic deaths. These deaths were down by 574 from 2016, about the same as 2015 and up by 434 from 2014.

Proponents of eradicating speed limits on select highways point to the success of and enthusiasm for the Autobahn in Germany, where crash concerns have not been a major issue for years. Despite Germany’s Autobahn, the nation has a rate of traffic deaths that is a third of that of the United States.

Other proposals to go along with getting rid of speed limits in some areas include adding lanes to highways, which would allow for more convenience for drivers who want to go faster.

For more information about the safety and possibility of eradicating speed limits on select highways, contact an auto accident lawyer in Lubbock, TX at the Law Office of Rob Biggers.

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