MDOT and Michigan State Police Announce Rise in Speed Limit

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As Michigan Speed Limits Rise, Will We See More Accidents?

Michigan Speed Limit Increases

The Department of Transportation and Michigan State Police recently announced more than 1500 roadways will see a speed limit hike in the coming weeks. Officials noted that studies have indicated most Michigan drivers were already driving at those increased speeds. They continued to say that the design and safety features of the roadways chosen were also best suited to give these new speed limits a home.


The speed limit increase change has been in the works since 2016 when state legislators passed a law instructing the MDOT and Michigan State Police to consider increasing speeds on freeways and highways across the state. Both rural highways and freeways will be impacted by the change. Roughly 600 interstate miles will increase from 70 mph to 75 mph. In addition, more than 900 miles of Michigan rural highways will go from 55 mph to 65 mph.


Researchers at the International Institute of Highway Safety have reported that maximum speed limits have been on the rise since 1995.


See all Michigan roadways with speed limit increases.


State Speed Limits and Traffic Fatality Rates

The IIHS released a Traffic Injury Prevention report in 2017 that highlighted the safety effects of increased U.S. state maximum speed limits during the period 1993-2013. The report data showed that increases in speed limits over two decades have cost 33,000 lives. Report author, Charles Farmer, IIHS vice president for research and statistical services continued to say, “Although fatality rates fell during the study period, they would have been much lower if not for states’ decisions to raise speed limits.” In 2013, the increases in speed limits resulted in 1,900 additional deaths. This essentially canceled out the number of lives saved by front airbags that year.


Other Report Results:

  • A 5 mph increase in the maximum state speed limit was associated with an eight percent increase in fatality rates on interstates and freeways and a four percent increase on other roads.
  • In total, there were an estimated 33,000 more traffic fatalities during the years 1995-2013 than would have been expected if maximum speed limits had not increased.
  • In 2013 alone, there were approximately 1,900 additional deaths — 500 on interstates/freeways and 1,400 on other roads.


Researchers concluded that there is a definite trend of increased fatality risk when speed limits are raised. Other conclusions made were:

  • As roadway sections with higher speed limits have become more ubiquitous, the increase in fatality risk has extended beyond these roadways.
  • The increase in risk has been so great that it has now largely offset the beneficial effects of some other traffic safety strategies.


Most car accident lawyers would agree that speeding ranks high as one of the top causes of car accidents and injury, even death. High-speed accidents can also cause more serious personal injuries.


Michigan Car Accident Attorneys – FREE Consultations

If you have been involved in a high-speed car accident you will want to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. This time can be frustrating and confusing, especially after a serious car accident. The Lee Steinberg Law Firm can help.


Please call Lee Free and speak to our car accident attorneys at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form. And remember, you pay nothing until we settle your car accident case.