State by State: Everything is Faster in Texas? 85 MPH Speed Limit Passed

By Matthew Askari | September 09, 2012
The first time I heard it, I was seated in a steakhouse on the outskirts of Houston and the waiter placed a monstrous slab of meat in front of me—24 ounces cooked medium, per my request—with the butt end of a knife sticking straight up, the blade lost somewhere in the charred cow flesh. "That's a big steak," I said. The waiter smiled, and uttered that all too often used, but very true cliché: "Everything is bigger in Texas." You can't spend a day in the Lonestar State without hearing it, but could the worn saying soon change? Might you soon be hearing everything is bigger and faster in Texas? Recently passed legislation has upped speed limits to 85 mph on some stretches, the highest speed limit in the United States. What does this mean? Will Texas be home of the American Autobahn? Not quite, but there is a 41-mile toll road running between Austin and San Antonio that can lay claim to being the fastest road in the U.S. Currently, some roads in Texas and Utah have stretches that allow 80 mph, so the 5-mph bump isn't exactly extreme. It's also a world away from the German Autobahn, where many stretches are void of limits on speed. But there are concerns with the higher limits; Russ Rader from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says "The research is clear that when speed limits go up, fatalities go up." Officials from the Texas Department of Transportation however, suggest the limit is a safe one. Source: Washington Post