Data Shows Michigan’s Increased 75mph Speed Limit Made Highways More Dangerous
Back in 2017, Michigan increased the speed limit from 70mph to 75 mph on 600 miles of highway throughout the state.
However, after the first full year of the new speed limit n 2018, crashes on those roads went up 17.2 % compared to 3.4 % statewide. Bridge Media looked over state police records and found that roads with the new 75-mph speed limit had more crashes in 2018 compared to the entire road network.
Of course, not everyone suddenly went 75mph+ on the roadways. The average speed increase on the 75-mph roads was just under 2 mph (from 74.6 mph in 2016 to 76.9 mph in 2018), however, the total number of people going over 80 mph went from 10% to 40% of all cars.
An increased speed limit doesn’t always lead to higher crash risk, though. Utah is an example of this with a drop between 2008 and 2014 when the speed limit was raised to 80 mph.
Michigan isn’t alone when it comes to increased risk with speed limits. Montana and Connecticut both found an increase of fatal crashes with higher speed limits.