You may or may not be happy about this, but the speed limits are rising all over the country. This will get you to your destination faster, but it comes with risks. One risk is it increases the odds of fatal accidents because of the increased speed. Any accident can be fatal, but driving at high speeds only increases this risk.
Higher speed limits and how to stay safe
Let's think about this, higher speed limits on highways could be very beneficial. You can get from point A to point B a lot quicker. However, because cars are going faster, there is a higher chance an accident occurring. Fortunately, we can help reduce the number of accidents by:
- Being aware of our surroundings. When you're driving a car or riding a motorcycle, your head should always be on a swivel. This goes for both urban and rural driving. When you're in or around a city, there are more pedestrians walking around. Pedestrians are harder to see, so we need to keep an eye out for them. In rural areas, you need to keep an eye out for deer and other animals that may leap out in front of you unexpectedly. You can't see and avoid everything, but it helps if you see a potential hazard coming.
- Drive in the right lane, unless it is safe and legal to pass. Driving in the right lane allows those drivers who want to pass you to do so safely on the left.
- Always be prepared to stop. Traffic can stop unexpectedly. If you're looking down and going too fast, you won't be able to stop in time. Try to always look ahead to see what traffic is doing so you can act accordingly.
- Put distractions away. Please put all distractions away before you drive. Don't use your cell phone while driving. It's dangerous and can cause an accident.
There was a speed limit study that came out of Utah. They conducted their study on I-15 where the speed limit is 75 miles per hour (mph). The very surprising conclusion was that the amount of people who exceeded the posted speed limit dropped by 20%. Another thing that they noticed was the number of speed-related crashes dropped by around 11 - 20%. Many states are also raising the speed limit on their highways. New Hampshire has decided to increase their speed limit on I-90 from 65 mph to 70 mph. This road stretches across the Colorado/Canada border. In Texas, the speed limit on their 40 mile stretch of a highway is 85 mph. That's pretty fast! Unless marked otherwise, the fastest we can go in Kentucky is 70 mph and that's on rural and urban highways.
As stated before, the increased speed limits could be very beneficial if we only raise the speed limits by a small amount. People usually go around five miles per hour over the speed limit anyway. However, bumping it all the way up to 85 mph is a bit extreme for Kentucky, especially with all the highways that are surrounded by woods. Woods makes it hard to see deer and other animals that are about to cross the road or highway. Please remember to follow the speed limit and to be aware of your surroundings.