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Faster Cars and Trucks Leading to More Accidents on Austin Roads?

We all know how bad traffic is on Austin-area roads. Driving to and from work can lead to a lot of frustration for many motorists, and each attempt at fixing the problem only seems to make matters worse. Drivers still spend much of their time on the highways sitting in stop-and-go traffic. Officials are hoping that some new roads may help address this issue.

One such road is drawing national attention, and could potentially lead to serious motor vehicle accidents. Texas State Highway 130, which runs between Austin and San Antonio, is nearly completely finished. The toll road was designed to help reduce the amount of traffic that consistently plagues Interstate 35.

Officials have proposed an 85 miles-per-hour speed limit for the road when it is finished as a way to entice more drivers to the highway. This would be the highest speed limit in the U.S., and the second-highest posted speed limit in the world. Currently, some stretches of the highway have speed limits set at 80 mph, and the Texas Department of Transportation wants to examine the road to determine if vehicles can safely travel faster.

TxDOT states that most drivers on highways are traveling at about 85 mph, and that if drivers are all traveling at the same rate of speed, there will be fewer car and truck accidents. However, critics feel that putting that many cars together driving that fast is a recipe for disaster.

The section of the road yet to be finished is expected to be complete by the end of the year. Officials will use the results of the speed studies to determine what speed limit to set.

Source: Reuters "Texas studies 85 mph speed limit, fastest in U.S." Jim Forsyth, June 7, 2012.

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