Positive Effects of Raising
Speed Limits

People today want to get to their destination faster and more efficiently, likewise raising speed limits would have many positive influences on today's society. Today's world is very fast-paced, and that's one good reason for raising speed limits. Although, we are concerned with safety and pollution, if motorists used proper precautions there would be fewer reasons for concern.
Increasing speed limits would not have any negative effects on pollution. "When up to operating temperature and running at constant freeway speeds, cars are so clean and efficient that there's no point in testing the conditions. Yes, precision equipment can find increases in exhaust pollutants with increasing speeds, but the numbers are so small you have to be careful not to lose them in the rounding," (Bedard 24). This doesn't cause much of a problem because "fast cruising is when cars cover the most miles with the least emissions," (Bedard 24). The closer a car comes to an open expressway where cars can travel at more constant speeds, the cleaner and more efficient the car will run (Bedard 24). "Every cold start emits the equivalent of a significant (and fast) trip on the freeway," (Bedard 25). Cars are very clean, and "once the engine is warmed up, the emissions of a properly operating car are so close to zero to be on any consequence," (Bedard 25). Emissions are not a problem at higher speeds.
Raising the speeds that are posed will have little or no effect on motorists speeds and accidents. "Lowering speed limits by as much as 20 mph, or raising speed limits by as much as 15 mph, had little or no effects on motorists speeds," (Yates 30). In Michigan, it was also shown that when speeds were lowered, it had no effect on highway speeds or accidents (Yates 30). In Montana, "people are certainly driving faster, but accidents have not increased significantly and seat-belt usage is up," (Oldham 49). Compliance decreased when limits were lowered, and accidents tended to increase; conversely, when compliance improved after limits were raised, accidents tended to decrease (Yates 30). When the limits aren't as strict, people tend to listen.
There would be large, negative effects on highway accidents, people say. A 15 mph increase from 55 mph to 70 mph, researchers say represents a 50% increase in available energy (Alexander 1). With the increase in energy, vehicles must now absorb more energy, so the passengers can accelerate safely (Alexander 1). The real hazard is that more available energy results in more rollovers (Alexander 1).
Although, if people used proper safety precautions, there would be little or no effect on the amount of accidents with raising speed limits. The best protection a motorist can have is being safely secured inside the passenger compartment with a three point seatbelt, this also protects you best in a rollover (Alexander 4). It is proven that seatbelts save lives, and you will never find a highway patrol man, ambulance driver, race car driver, or doctor without his seatbelt properly fastened in his car (Alexander 1). Accidents have not significantly, and the use of seatbelts is up (Oldham 49). When the precautions are used properly, accidents won't increase when speed limits are raised. We should raise the speed limits on our nation's highways. For example, look at Montana. When the national maximum speed limit of 55 mph was abolished, Montana's unlimited speed limit took effect right away, although speeds must be reasonable and prudent (Advocates Press Release 4). Montana set limits to no limit on roads currently posted with a 65 mph limit. At night, the limit is 65 mph. Other locations are 65 mph during the day and 55 mph at night (States at Risk 1). Montana's "Reasonable and Prudent" speed limit means that you are to take the totality of the vehicle's condition and the environment in order to find out what a reasonable speed would be (Oldham 49). "A Montana Highway Patrol spokesman said, ‘If you're going 75 to 80 mph on a stretch of road with curves and hills, I'll pull you over,'" (Oldham 49). A speed limit like Montana's reasonable and prudent would work well on our nation's highways.
Speed limits on our nation's highways should be raised. Bringing back a higher National Maximum Speed Limit would