You’d get the place you had been going quicker if the federal government raised the pace restrict, proper? Not essentially. A brand new research by the AAA Basis for Visitors Security finds that “elevating posted pace limits might do little to avoid wasting time and enhance visitors stream however might result in extra crashes, accidents, and deaths.”
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The inspiration checked out 12 roadways that noticed pace restrict adjustments – six the place posted limits had been raised and 6 the place they had been lowered. They included freeways, arterial roads, and connecting roads “to check and distinction outcomes throughout totally different geographical traits.” They examined crash frequency, dashing tickets, journey instances, and visitors quantity earlier than and after the adjustments.
Increased Limits Often Meant Extra Crashes
Among the roads noticed the outcomes you’d anticipate – two of three interstates noticed “an upward pattern in crash frequencies throughout all examined crash sorts” after elevating pace limits. Deaths elevated on three roads with increased limits however fell on two others. A sixth noticed no statistically vital change.
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“The research additionally discovered that decreasing posted pace limits led to fewer crashes in lots of instances examined,” researchers stated.
Dashing tickets decreased all over the place limits had been raised and elevated on 5 of six roads that noticed their limits lowered.
However Individuals Don’t Drive as Quick as You Let Them
Different outcomes weren’t intuitive. “Modifications in journey instances had been small in response to each raised and lowered pace limits,” AAA says. 5 mph will increase within the pace restrict tended to end in common speeds about 2 mph quicker.
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“The motion in statehouses to lift pace limits is going on throughout the nation in at the least eight states this yr,” stated Jennifer Ryan, director of state relations for AAA. “However the advantages are overrated, and the dangers are understated. Rising pace limits doesn’t at all times yield the constructive outcomes envisioned by visitors planners.”