Texas is generally happy to push things to extremes, so it's not surprising that the state House approved a measure to raise the speed limit to 85 miles per hour — the highest in the nation — on some stretches of highway. Currently, Texas and Utah are tied for the top speed (80 mph). The state Senate is expected to pass the measure soon, but is it a good idea to let people drive that fast?
Texas is being reckless: While other states are fretting over whether 65 mph is too fast, says Brian Straight at FleetOwner, Texas is rushing to endorse a "nearly breakneck" speed that would be the second-fastest limit in the world, just behind Poland's 86 mph. There's a reason most governments don't let people drive that fast: It's not safe. Worse, because some drivers will never push their vehicles that hard, you get a speed disparity between fast and slow drivers that "seems like a recipe for death."
"Just call Texas the Lone Speed State"
Nah, this would be perfectly safe in West Texas: Fastest speed limit in the country — "we say why the hell not?" says Richard Connelly at Houston Press. Sure, 85 is too fast for some areas, but "there are stretches of interstate in West Texas where going 85 mph feels more like 30 mph because things are so vast and empty and the road is straight and goes on forever."
"85 mph on Texas highways: Why the hell not?"
Driving that fast will hurt your wallet: It's less gas-efficient to drive 85 mph, says Colin Bird at Cars.com. Every 5 mph increment over 60 mph costs an additional 24 cents per gallon. So go ahead, Texas. Speed up to 85 just as gas prices rise. But know that the cost is more than just probable loss of life — compared to normal 65 mph states, you'll pay an extra dollar per gallon, too.
"Texas wants 85 mph speed limit, highest in nation"