Texas is one of many states to raise its speed limit since 2011. In raising the maximum speed limit, Texas has become part of a "national trend," on rising limits, as more and more locations throughout the U.S. have decided to allow motorists to go faster lawfully. In fact, Star Tribune reports Texas actually has the distinction of having the fastest speed limit in the nation. In Texas, there is a 41-mile stretch of road where drivers are actually allowed to go 85 miles per hour.
Numerous forces are driving states to increase speed limits, including Texas. With these increased limits, however, comes a significantly increased risk of car accidents. Motorists need to be aware going faster can be much more dangerous than traveling at a slower speed. As limits get faster, it becomes increasingly important for drivers to realize they must slow down, even to below posted limits, if their speed isn't safe for the current conditions on the road.
Rising Speeds Have Serious Consequences for Texas Car Accidents
There are numerous reasons why states, including Texas, have decided to change speed limit laws. The prevailing logic behind this shift is that speeding is something virtually everyone does anyway and most people don't think it is wrong. According to Wired.com's report on an AAA study, around half of all drivers surveyed said they regularly sped in their vehicles. Around 16 percent of the drivers responding to the same survey said going fast wasn't dangerous as long as the driver knows what they was doing.
Unlike behaviors like drunk driving, speeding is not generally viewed as morally wrong, so there is less support for strict laws on speeding. State lawmakers may increasingly be coming around to the idea speed limits should be raised, since the rules should reflect the speed at which everyone is going anyway.
Antipathy towards regulations is also prompting lawmakers to raise speed limits. People don't like to obey lower limits, so it is politically popular for changes to be made which allow motorists to go faster. With so many states taking steps to raise limits, this can create pressure on lawmakers to alter maximum speeds within their own state.
Unfortunately, these rising limits have serious consequences. Speeding is already the leading contributing human error which causes single vehicle crashes and is the fourth-leading contributing human error which causes multi-vehicle accidents. When speed limits rose previously, the rising limits were also said to have caused 12,545 fatalities and 36,583 injuries between 1995 and 2005.
Higher speed limits can lead to more crashes because some drivers increase their speeds even further than the limits. Other drivers don't adjust their speeds upward, sometimes not even to the maximum limit, since they don't want to go that fast. An increased disparity in traffic speeds, coupled with the fact going faster is more dangerous in general, helps to explain why rising speed limits in Texas could lead to more car accidents on the state's roads.