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| Grewal Law, PLLC

Earlier this week, the Michigan House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed a plan that could eventually raise the speed limit on certain stretches of highway to 80 mph. Of course, this plan goes in effect if passed by the Michigan House and Senate. Only certain sections of highway would jump to 80, such as I-75 North of Bay City or parts of I-69 between Flint and Lansing, and possibly U.S. North 127. The plan also includes increasing the speed limit on 900 miles of roadway from 55 to 60 mph.  The changes are being proposed to bring the speed limit more in line with “the speeds people were already driving on highways.”  Lawmakers expect these changes, if passed, to go in effect before the summer in an effort to attract tourism.

Since drivers are apparently driving 5 to 10 miles over the speed limit, if these changes pass, it would be interesting to see if drivers would continue to bend the rules by driving as fast as 85 or 90 regularly. It would also be interesting to see the effect on law enforcement, would they h

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ave to become more vigilant to catch those going 10 mph over the speed limit at the dangerous speed of 90 mph?

According to a report by NBC News, Texas has the fastest highway in the country, a toll road with an 85 mile per hour speed limit, as well as the fastest average allowable speed of 73.6 mph. Second in line is Idaho, with an average speed of 76.7. The “slowest” states include the District of Columbia and Alaska. It appears Michigan has fallen in the middle for the past two decades. A full list of state speed limits can be found here.

Of course, high speeds are always associated with danger. The Governors Highway Safety Association “represents the state and territorial highway safety offices” to address highway safety issues such as impaired driving and speeding. According to studies, freeway deaths increase with freeway speed limits. The data shows that there are not necessarily more accidents at higher speeds, but they are certainly more severe, and more often leading to death. The effect of other bad habits (i.e. distracted driving) combined with high speeds could be a very deadly combination.  Automotive innovation will also be a factor– see my previous post on this years’ auto show– how do you feel about self-driving cars potentially travelling at 90 MPH?

What do you think about  this Michigan House Committee Plan to raise speed limits? Check out our poll below!



  1. Gravatar for Dan Fosterf
    Dan Fosterf

    I am against raising speed limits. When hearing a rep. on the radio pushing the plan he constantly said "the common sense thing to do" over and over. He also said that we had it in the past and should repeat the move. Common sense "no", in fact the worst thing to do for the safety of all travelers. Michigan has the reputation as an aggressive driver state and our insurance rates reflect that. This will drive rates higher but could be the point knowing Lansing. Also, you can not compare today's driving to the past ,as speed limits fell so did the weights of autos. At 80 mph the weight speed ratio can make today's car weightless. Hitting any bump, side wind , icy patch is all you need for a disaster. Mixing big semi trucks and autos at these speeds is a disaster. Texting, phone calls, or any distraction at these speeds and car weights are a disaster and another government created "Flint" moment. No ! We all share the road and although some don't want to set an example for our children, we all share responsibility for safe driving.

  2. Gravatar for Henry

    Decades of transportation research has shown that people drive at speeds at which they feel safe and comfortable driving regardless of the speed limit. When speed limits are set too low a large number of people will be in violation while a small number will comply. The result will be unnecessary weaving and passing and possible increases in speed variance. For smoothest traffic flow, speed limits should be set according to the 85th percentile or prevailing travel speeds. Several states have increased their speeds to 80 mph and have had no problems with the increase. In the 80 mph states speeds only rose 1 or 2 mph, compliance increased and there was no net change to the fatality and accident rates on those highways. I am glad the motoring capital of the US has decided to deal with speed limits in a rational way.

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