Car accidents can occur at all speeds and at any time of day. With this in mind, Utah tested some of its roads to see if the idea of 80 mph roads will work. As it turns out, not only was it welcomed by motorists, but drivers are actually less prone to making mistakes and getting involved in a Utah car crash, according to the initial findings. The encouraging results compelled lawmakers to propose to expand the speed limit to other areas.
The Utah House of Representatives has just approved a measure to expand the speed limit on some of the state's rural roads. In an overwhelmingly affirmative vote, the state is extending 80 mph speed limits on certain straight, flat portions of Interstate 15, 80 and 84, which will allow motorists to ease off the brakes a little.
The Utah Department of Transportation had been testing several 80 mph roads during the last four years. The Utah Department of Transit also stated that the 80 mph speed limit is the speed that most drivers are already driving.
According to the bill's sponsor, fewer car crashes and other motor vehicle accidents occurred on roads with 80 mph speed limits. It was feared in 2008, when the state initially considered testing higher speed limits that drivers would simply drive above the new limit, but surprisingly most drivers respected the speed limit.
Others aren't too happy with the move. One lawmaker questioned the motion, citing air pollution concerns after local doctors advised against it to curb pollution-induced asthma attacks. Others voiced concerns over speeding and a possible increase in car crashes. The bill, which zoomed through legislation, is now in the Senate for approval and must be signed by the governor to be enacted.
Driving at higher speeds can provide efficiency as drivers maintain caution by focusing on the road when driving. A simple miscalculation can lead to fatal accidents, which often cause serious injury and death. If this law passes, drivers on Utah highways may be best served to know their legal rights in the event that excessive speed is the cause of a serious accident.
Source: San Francisco Gate, "Utah house votes to expand 80 mph roads," Annie Knox, Feb. 6, 2013