Wisconsin to Increase Speed Limit on Interstate and Highways

Driving over the speed limit is something just about all of us do, and we don’t even think twice when we do it. It seems pretty normal to drive 5 to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. A common excuse we tell ourselves is, “I’m just keeping up with traffic. Everyone else is driving that fast. Why shouldn’t I?” It looks like the Wisconsin legislature is of a similar mind, especially since Wisconsin is the only state in the Midwest to have all roads at a 65 mph or lower speed limit. A bill to raise the speed limit from 65 mph to 70 mph on certain areas of interstate and highways in Wisconsin will be voted on next week. If the bill passes, not every road will have an increased speed limit. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will determine which stretches of highway will have an increased speed.

So what does that mean for Wisconsin drivers and safety on the road? Those in support of the bill say the reason behind increasing the speed limit is safety. Studies have shown the safest roads are the ones where most drivers are traveling at the same speed. The next question is, if everyone on Wisconsin roads are already driving at 70 mph, won’t they increase their speed with the increased speed limit? A study conducted on a New York Thruway, where the speed limit was raised from 55 mph to 65 mph, showed the average speed of 68 mph did not change when the speed limit was raised. Finally, doesn’t an increased speed just mean more danger and accidents in general? The answer to that question is not necessarily. Federal and State studies have shown drivers more likely to get into an accident are those driving significantly below the speed limit. A vehicle going 10 mph slower than the traffic around it is more likely to get into an accident than a vehicle going 10 mph above the speed limit.

So an increased speed limit is good, right? That’s not always true either. Triple-A opposes the bill being passed in Wisconsin. The organization says it opposes the bill because States that have increased their speed limits, like Iowa and Minnesota, have also seen an increase in fatal accidents involving large trucks. Members of the Wisconsin legislature that oppose the bill are also concerned about an increase in deaths on Wisconsin roads.

No matter what the speed limit is, it is important to always keep safety in mind when driving a motor vehicle. Car accidents can happen in the blink of an eye and are caused by many different reasons, including distracted drivers, drivers going over the speed limit, drivers going under the speed limit, animals, or inclement weather conditions. For this reason, remember to always pay attention when driving, keeping distractions such as the radio and cell phone at a minimum, and to always be aware of your surroundings. Also, going over the speed limit, which may seem normal to most drivers, is still illegal and can result in a costly ticket. Should you be injured in a car accident or get a speeding ticket, keep Sperling Law Offices in mind. And keep an eye on those speed limit signs. We all may see a change soon!

Want to read more? Check out these articles: http://www.wisn.com/politics/70-mph-speed-limit-almost-a-go-for-wisconsin/32623242; http://www.motorists.org/speed-limits/faq.

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