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
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!
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.