Texas is such an amazing, important place that its residents are now allowed to drive faster than anyone else in the country, or at least they are on one fancy new road. A new, 41-mile stretch of highway running from Austin to Seguin will have a speed limit of 85 MPH when it opens in November, besting the previous fastest roads by 5 MPH. As the Los Angeles Times notes, that's the same speed as a Category 1 hurricane.
Naturally, some people in the insurance industry are being Debbie Downers about Texas's awesome new law.
If you're looking at an 85 mph speed limit, we could possibly see drivers going 95 up to 100 miles per hour," Sandra Helin, president of the Southwestern Insurance Information Service, said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times in June. She also noted drivers often exceed the posted speed limit.
"When you get to those speeds, your accidents are going to be a lot worse. You're going to have a lot more fatalities," she said.
What she doesn't mention, though, is how much faster we'll get places. Think of all the time saved. Who cares about a few more accidents?
Not the Federal Highway Administration. They're keeping their distance from this one.
States are allowed to set their own speed rules, according to a spokeswoman for the Federal Highway Administration.
"In 1995, Congress eliminated all federal restrictions on the maximum speed limits and left those decisions to the states," she said in a prepared statement.
"As always, drivers should be vigilant and drive as safely as possible to protect themselves and others on the roads," she stated.