Get Ready For The New 45 MPH State Speed Limit
No, the Michigan speed limit is not being lowered. But the way do-gooders, heck, everyone, overreacts these days, it wouldn't be surprising if there were calls for just that.
Wednesday morning, M-DOT retweeted a link to a Jalopnik story about how crashes, deaths and injuries have increased in the state since the 75 mph speed limit was implemented a couple of years ago.
One year after the state of Michigan raised speed limits on certain roads, those stretches of highway saw a 17.2 percent rise in crashes and an 18.9 percent rise in injuries, as a new report from the state details. What’s interesting is that these are lower numbers than some critics expected, and they speak to challenges bigger than just changing a number on a few signs. - lead paragraph form a Jalopnik story on Michigan's 75 mph speed limit.
That last statement is key to this. Experts say one of the problems is raising the speed limit to 75 has seen some drivers take advantage of the increase to go faster, in some cases much faster, than 75. Crashes increased 3% statewide, so there's more than just once cause at play here. But that's not necessarily it.
Here's an MDOT officials maybe getting to the real reason.
“The cars are way better than they used to be — better braking, better handling, better from an overall safety perspective. But at the end of the day, it’s still physics. Speed is distance over time… and with everyone on their cellphone that I see on the freeways, I would bet that our reaction times are worse.” - Brad Wieferich, director of MDOT’s Bureau of Development in Bridge Magazine, via Jalopnik
Maybe the solution is to attack the cellphone issue? Or is it, while there are countless gadgets to make out lives easier, our lives are actually more complicated now than ever? How many people are working 10 hour days (or even more) How many people are less stressed out than they were five years ago. Could stress lead to more aggresive driving? Just some thoughts to ponder while digesting these numbers and waiting for the reaction.