Have Crashes Increased in Michigan Since Boosting Speed Limit to 75?
Michiganders have been able to drive 75mph on over 600 miles of the state's freeways since the law changed back in 2017.
Does an increase of only 5mph really make that big of a difference when it comes to traffic accidents and fatalities? Apparently, it does.
A new study that was conducted by Michigan State University claims that there's been an increase of more than 5% in overall accidents on roads where the speed limit is 75. This includes fatal and serious injury crashes.
The faster you go, the more you increase your chances of getting into a serious accident. I believe that is something all of us learned when first starting to drive. So I guess the results of the study aren't all that surprising.
Peter Savolainen, a professor and associate chair of graduate studies in MSU's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the co-author of the study.
Michigan is not unique at all on this — in comparisons across different states, all of the states that have gone to 75- or 80-mph (limits) have seen significant increases in fatalities, generally.
Researchers looked at data from 2014 to 2016 (prior to the law change) and compared them to 2018 and 2019. You can see the complete study, here.
Where in Michigan Can You Drive 75mph?
- I-75 in northern lower Michigan and the eastern Upper Peninsula.
- I-69 east of Flint.
- East-west U.S. 10 through mid-Michigan.
- North-south U.S. 127 through mid-Michigan.
- U.S. 131 running north-south through the western Lower Peninsula.
- A portion of U.S. 31 in Oceana and Mason counties.
Source: Traffic Safety Research/Detroit Free Press