Study: When Speed Limits Rise on Interstates, So Do Crash Hot Spots on Nearby Roads

When states raise speed limits on highways, speed-related crash hot spots spike on nearby neighborhood roads, a new study finds — but local communities aren’t preparing for those “spillover” effects…

In an analysis of three U.S. highway segments whose maximum speeds were increased at some point in the last decade — I-85 in Georgia, I-84 in Oregon and I-75 and I-69 in Michigan — researchers found that all reported significant new “clusters” of speeding-related crashes within a one-mile radius of the interstate.

Worse, all three communities also reported that crashes had become more frequent at many of their old non-interstate crash hot spots, and that these “safety concerns” outweighed the handful of areas where crashes went down because of shifting traffic patterns and other factors.

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