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Texas Has Fastest Highways in America – Alaska, D.C. the Slowest

Most states pick up the pace.

by on Aug.25, 2014

Texas opened the country's fastest highway, a stretch of toll road from Austin to San Antonio, in 2012..

While U.S. motorists don’t have an Autobahn, with its lack of speed limits, there’s been a significant increase in the allowable pace in much of the country since the national 55 mph restriction was lifted nearly two decades ago.

Despite the objections of safety advocates, Texas now has both the single fastest highway in the country — a toll road with an 85 mph speed limit – as well as the fastest average allowable speeds when you factor in all its various limited-access roads. Those drivers looking to get somewhere fast might steer clear of the District of Columbia and Alaska, however, the two states having the nation’s lowest top and average speeds, according to a new study by the Governors Highway Safety Association, or GHSA.

Fast Track!

Those two states have become the exception, rather than the rule, more and more allowing drivers to put the pedal to the metal. In fact, four states now have top speeds of at least 80 mph, with another dozen pushing their limits up to 75.


Texas Ready To Push the (Speed) Limits

Toll road could jump to 85 mph.

by on Jun.08, 2012

Texas may soon raise that number to 85 on a toll road near Austin.

The Texas Department of Transportation is getting to raise the speed limit on a stretch of toll road near Austin to 85 mph, which would be the fastest figure in the country and only about 1 mph below the limits set on a marked highway in Abu Dhabi.

Speed limits have generally been going up in recent years following a decision in Congress to allow states to decide what’s best, a far cry from the era when federal highway funds were tied to maintaining strict enforcement of the dread “double-nickel” 55 mph limit.

While most parts of the East have steadfastly held to 55 and even 50 on their generally crowded routes, states in the wild, wild West have eagerly been leapfrogging one another to see just how high they could go.  Nevada nudged 75 cueing Texas lawmakers last year to approve even higher limits.

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Much of the Lone Star State’s Highway 130 already are up to 80, but the law allows for 85 and Texas Department of Transportation engineers are set to conduct a formal study to see if that can be safely maintained on the stretch near Austin.  But they’ve already signaled their likelihood to give the increase a green light.


Texas Ready to Up the Speed Limit to 85

Lawmakers may give state the fastest highways in America.

by on Apr.07, 2011

How fast is too fast on America's freeways?

Texas may soon have the fastest highway in America.  Okay, forget those crowded Dallas and Houston roadways, where traffic snarls often match the worst in the nation.  But out on the open prairie, motorists may soon be given the green light to let the speedo swing to 85.

The state already permits driving at up to 80 mph on about 520 miles of interstate.  But the Texas House has approved a measure that would bump the state’s top speed up another 5 mph.

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“They have high-speed roadways in Europe, and there could be some merit in having some of those highways in Texas,” said Rep. Lois Kolkhorst of Brenham, who introduced the bill. “Given the right engineering, we should consider it.”

The measure is now being taken up by the Texas Senate, which is leaning towards approval, as is Gov. Rick Perry, a get-the-government-off-my-back Republican.

But there is some strong opposition, not only from law enforcement but also the insurance industry, which has long argued that speed kills.


Are American Drivers Really Speed Demons?

New study says we talk fast but stay close to the speed limits.

by on Jan.21, 2010

Some of the nation's fastest and slowest roads.

Americans like to talk a fast game, but while we may like to believe we’re always pushing the limits, a new study suggests most drivers stick closer to the speed laws than we might think.

While motorists do run up average speeds over the posted limits in a few states, most stay under the limit, according to data collected though the Speed Profiles database compiled by TeleAtlas, the mapping unit of portable navigation manufacturer TomTom.  The report analyzed historical records gathered anonymously, over the last two years, from millions of GPS systems in use on U.S. roadways.

The tattletale systems reveal that the fastest stretch of highway in the U.S. is I-15, running through Utah and Nevada.  The average speed is 77.67 mph, but in some unpopulated stretches, the speed limit actually is set at 80.

A Fast Ticket!

On a regional basis, the fastest part of the country isn’t out in the open West but, rather, in the American heartland.  TomTom reveals that 7 of the fastest 15 states are Mississippi, Kansas, Iowa, Iaho, Alabama and Missouri, where speeds average just over 67 mph.  The big surprise?  The typical speed limit in those states is 70.