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When going faster is safer

By Tara Baukus Mello · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Posted: 6 am ET

The state of Texas is considering a speed limit of 85 mph for cars that travel a new toll road in the name of safety. The Texas Department of Transportation, who will conduct a speed study to determine the speed limit, says that one of the keys to safety is all the cars traveling at the same speed.

The new road, a 41-mile stretch of Highway 130, runs parallel to I-35 between San Antonio and Austin and is designed to ease congestion along that stretch of Interstate. The speed study will include assessing the speed most cars are traveling on existing parts of the road, looking at the topography and determining which areas would be safe for the higher speed limit. If it turns out that drivers are traveling higher than the current 80 mph speed limit, then the increase could also reduce some motorists' auto insurance premiums because they'd be less likely to get speeding tickets, which can raise car insurance rates.

Currently 80 mph is the highest speed limit in the U.S., on some very rural and straight stretches of interstates in Texas and Utah. If the state approves the speed limit, it will be the highest in the Western Hemisphere.

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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