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Are Massachusetts’ lower speed limits a good thing?

Almost all states allow speed limits of 70 miles per hour, and a few even get to 80 or 85. Here in the Bay State, the fastest highways only get up to 65. This might be annoying on your drive home—but it could also save your life.

A new report shows that higher speed limits lead to more driving deaths. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that despite increases in car safety, driving too fast still causes hundreds of fatalities every year.

The number of fatal crashes is increasing

The study shows that for every five miles per hour the speed limit increases, the number of roadway deaths increases by 8.5 percent. Considering the fact that in some states the speed limit is 85 miles per hour, we might be lucky that we can only go 65 on the highway.

The speed limit used to 55 miles per hour across the entire country. If the national speed limit hadn’t been abolished in 1995, slower driving would have saved about 1,900 lives in 2017 alone.

Is speeding ever worth it?

Getting to your destination faster is the main appeal of speeding. But it may not be as beneficial as you think. The study also found that an increase of five miles per hour on a 100-mile trip only saves a few minutes at best.

Unless your commute is that long, you probably aren’t saving as much time as you think by speeding home. Shortening your drive by a few minutes is not worth risking your life.

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