A recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows new data that concludes when speed limits are raised, fatal accidents also increase. Forty-one states were analyzed over a period of twenty years from 1993 to 2013. During this study period, 33,000 auto accident deaths occurred.
The study took into consideration various factors when analyzing their results, including alcohol consumption, the number of drivers between the ages of 16 to 24 per capita, the state’s geography and the types of roadways traveled.
It was determined that the number of fatalities rose 8 percent per 5 mph increase on interstates and freeways.
In 1973, Congress established a 55 mph maximum speed limit. This was not done actually imposed for safety reasons, though. Rather, it was enforced because there was a fuel shortage at the time. In 1987, the limits were raised to 65 mph on rural interstates and in 1995, states could enforce their own limits. Currently, six states have allowed speeds of up to 80 mph, and in Texas, drivers can legally drive at 85 mph on certain roads.
In Florida, speed limits on state highways up to the following maximums: 70 mph on Interstates, 65 mph on a four-lane divided highway outside an urban area (with a population of 5,000 or more), and 60 mph on other state highways.