The Utah Department of Transportation released a study that showed increasing the speed limit on some parts of freeways from 75 mph to 80 mph may actually be a good thing, according to to Fox 13 Now.
The studied noted that portions of road that had the 80 mph limit saw average speeds increase just 2 mph and accidents decrease 11 percent in one area and 20 percent in another. All in all, the study concluded that drivers tend to comply more with higher speed limits, making for a safer road.
The Utah government has now shown an interest in putting more 80 mph zones throughout the state, which would be strategically picked out on stretches of road that are straight and provide a lower chance of accidents. The state is also making the speed limit increase permanent in two of the "test zones."
If the study finds similar results in two other "test areas," the state will make those permanent in 2014 as well, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
Utah isn't the first state to allow 80 mph limits. Texas also had 80 mph restrictions on some rural roads, and made news earlier this month by becoming the first state to allow an 85-mph limit on one new highway. State Highway 130, which runs between the outskirts of Austin and San Antonio, will allow for 85-mph limits when it opens in a few weeks.
In that case, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and other safety advocates expressed concern that the limits may lead to more traffic fatalities and injuries.
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