Texas Highway Posts 85 MPH Speed Limit
If you’re in a hurry in Texas, you will be pleased to know a 41-mile portion of State Highway 130 was recently approved to get an 85 mph speed limit. Not surprisingly, this news thrills some drivers while scaring others.
The speed limit is currently the highest in the country, though some states have portions of highways set at 75 or 80 mph. States have had the ability to create their own speed limits since 1995, though of course drivers have the right to avoid these roads when they find the speed limit unsafe or intimidating. Apparently, many truckers will do just that.
Drawbacks of the Speed Limit Increase
According to the American Trucking Association, the new speed limit on the Texas toll road should not appeal to many truck drivers. The Texas Tribune reported a representative of the ATA saying that a truck that is going 75 miles per hour tends to use 27 percent more gas than one going 65 miles per hour.
Therefore, anyone concerned with saving money on gas might want to avoid this road. In fact, some truck carriers forbid their drivers to go faster than 65 mph, and they might even go so far as to use technology to keep trucks from going too fast.
Of course, there is also the safety issue as the speed limit increases. It is a fact that the faster you are driving, the longer it takes to stop. The rate of serious injuries and fatalities also tends to rise with the speed limit, as many safety professionals have pointed out. Plus, when the speed limit is 85, many drivers will feel comfortable going 95 mph or more, possibly further reducing safety
Advantages of Higher Speed Limit
On the other hand, the speed limit on the Texas road would not have been raised if there were not some benefits. The main reasoning behind the increase is to reduce congestion on other highways.
NBCNews.com reported that a representative of the National Motorists Association said higher speed limits are actually safer. This is because the flow of traffic is not impeded by slow drivers, and therefore there are fewer lane changes by people trying to go faster than 65 or 70 mph.
An additional benefit is the simple fact that travelers, including truck drivers, would arrive at their destination faster than usual when driving 85 mph instead of 65. This could lead to an increase in productivity, at least for the minority of truck drivers who may decide to travel on this road.
The speed limit will go into effect on November 11, when the new 41-mile part of the highway will open to the public.