Should There Be A Change To The Current Speed Limitations?

777 words - 3 pages

Ever-increasing gas prices, crowded roadways, and countless American drivers on the streets. As drivers we find ourselves taking these factors into consideration when we drive. The results of our decisions can vary, however most have negative effects. Potential results include millions of Americans speeding daily, an increasing number of fatal accidents, and a higher fuel consumption rate. When evaluating and determining speed limits, these points should be accounted for. The desired outcome should be little, if any change at all in the current limitations.A maximum speed limit is posted or set by a state statue to inform motorists of the highest speed considered to be safe and reasonable under normal road, traffic, and weather conditions. Every state has a basic speed statue requiring drivers to drive their vehicles at a speed that is reasonable under these conditions. This law recognizes that the maximum safe speed varies due to traffic, road, weather, and other conditions, and ultimately places the responsibility of selecting a safe and reasonable speed on the driver.The majority of motorists select a speed to reach their destination in the shortest time possible while avoiding endangering themselves, others, and their property. Research has shown that the highest region of risk is in the area of the 85th percentile speed. That is the speed at which 85% of the vehicles are traveling. This speed has been determined to be a limit that minimizes accident risk and maximizes motorist conformity as well as efficiency. Most traffic engineers believe that speed limits should be set reflecting this information. The procedures used to set speed limits have evolved through years of experience and research. Most states set safe yet maximum speed limits based on the results of an engineering and traffic investigation. While all states and most rural areas use the 85th percentile speed as a deciding factor in selecting the appropriate speed limit for a given street or highway. Other factors such as construction, accident experience and design speed are often considered as well. One primary reason for setting speed limits lower than a speed considered safe (reasonable by the majority of motorists) is based on the belief that lower speed limits reduce accidents. Also, it has been frequently suggested that most motorists drive 5 to 10 mph over the posted limit; so lower limits...

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