11 States with the Fastest Speed Limits

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Speeding is not only deadly, but it can cost you a fine and higher insurance fees
  • Each state has its own unique speed limits, associated laws, and car insurance costs
  • The average speed limits from one state to the next can vary more than 25 mph
  • Texas has the fastest average speed limit in the U.S. at 78 mph
  • Alaska has the slowest average speed limit in the U.S. at 55 mph

Ever find your right foot inadvertently gets heavier? Does your speed increase with a great song? Before you know it, you’re going 80 mph where the limit is 55 mph.

If you have a tendency to speed, you must keep a close eye on your speedometer and know the various speed limits around you.

Speeding can cause an expensive citation, higher car insurance payments, and even much worse, a deadly crash.

Surprisingly, the states that make up our great nation have very different opinions on how fast is too fast. Check out the states with the highest speed limits and learn some interesting speed limit facts across America.

Start comparison shopping today using our FREE online tool. Enter your zip code to get started!

States with the Fastest Speed Limitsaverage-speed-limits-2016-with-legend

Methodology

The GHSA (Governors Highway Safety Association) has compiled data, updated August 2016, for the various speed limits for each state based on the type of vehicle and roadway.

The data is provided in six categories: rural interstates, urban interstates, and limited access roads for both cars and trucks. The average of these data points gave the results for the countdown below.

View the complete data in all six categories by state here.

#5 – Kansas, Louisiana, Nevada, and Oklahoma

Four states tie for having the 5th highest average speed limits in the US. Kansas, Louisiana, Nevada and Oklahoma all have an average speed of 72 mph for their various roads and vehicle types.

#4 – Idaho and North Dakota

Coming in 4th with an average speed of 73 mph are two mid-western states, Idaho and North Dakota.

#3 – Maine, Utah, and Wyoming

Three states tie for 3rd for the fastest allowed speeds for their drivers. Maine joins two western neighbor-states for the average speed of 75 mph.

#2 – South Dakota

The state ranking 2nd has a surprising 4 mph average speed limit higher than the state just above it. Their names are almost the same, they share a border, but the southern Dakota allows their drivers to go quite a bit faster with an average limit of 77 mph.

#1 – Texas

Not sharing the podium for first is Texas with an average allowed speed of 78 mph. Many people drive about 5 mph over the speed limit, thinking that’s safe and will still keep them from a ticket. In many parts of Texas, that means driving 90 mph!

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Interesting Speed Limit Facts

The following seven states have only one speed limit for all of their major roads:

  • Alaska: 55 mph
  • Massachusetts: 65 mph
  • Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Wisconsin: 70 mph

Georgia has a “Super Speeder Law” that adds a $200 fine to any moving violation for drivers caught going over 75 mph in a two lane road or over 85 mph on multi-lane roads anywhere in the state.

Montana is the only state that has speed limits that change depending on the time of day. Some of its roads have an evening maximum speed that is 5 mph lower than the maximum allowed speed during the day.

Texas is the only state with speed limits that reach as high as 85 mph.

Alaska has the lowest average speed limit in the US at just 55 mph.

speed-limits-across-america-line-graph

Each state has its own unique speed limits, associated laws, and car insurance costs.

Even states that share borders can have vastly different ranges in allowed speeds, and it’s possible for one road to have drastic drops in speed limits from one section to another.

Always pay close attention to the posted speed limits and be aware of how fast you’re going and don’t just focus on avoiding a fine. Speeding puts you and those on the roads around you at high risk of serious injury or death.

Are you paying too much for your car insurance? Enter your zip code below to find out!

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