New 70 MPH speed limits; how will it affect Wisconsin motorists?

US_Speed_Limits_May_2015.svgIn 1996 Wisconsin raised speed limits on rural interstates to 65mph.  Since then, many Midwestern states have lifted limits to 70mph.  Just as it seemed that Wisconsin was going to remain the only Midwestern state to keep its 65mph speed limit, the law was changed.  In May 2015, Governor Scott Walker signed legislation to raise several Wisconsin highways to 70 miles per hour.  DOT started placing the new speed limit signs on Interstates 94, I-39, I-43, I-90 and I-41 in June.  In the near future, stretches of Highways 51, 53 and 151 could be marked up as well, covering more than 700 miles of Wisconsin interstates in all.

Some say that higher speed limits cause accidents.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety claims that faster speeds are not more hazardous. They site Solomon research from the 1960s which cited evidence that an increase in the crash likelihood among drivers actually came from those using speed variation rather than traveling at higher speed limits.  Another study from the National Motorist Association cites federal data from1997 indicating that even after the majority of states increased their maximum highway speed limit, the total national fatality rate reached an all-time record low.  (1.64 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.)

Negligent drivers cause accidents.  Some may disagree or question the research, and maybe even the new speed limit, but one thing remains true; negligent drivers cause nearly all accidents.  Last year, Wisconsin DOT reported the lowest fatality rate in state since 1943.  We’d all like to see that number continue to fall because every life lost, is one too many. The likelihood of being seriously injured in an auto accident is likely to increase with the higher rates of speed.  However, safe driving habits can prevent accidents from happening in the first place. We want to remind everyone to follow the laws of the road, and the new speed limits.

Injured in a high speed collision.  Injured?  Take Action!  Regardless of the speed limit, an auto accident is a rare, unexpected occurrence. When you or a loved one has been injured in a car or truck accident, look for an experienced Wisconsin personal injury attorney to help sort through all the issues involved.  A good car accident lawyer will help ensure that you and your family receive rightful compensation for your injuries.

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