Michigan State Police Say Speed Not A Factor Of Car Accidents: Ypsilanti To Raise Speed Limits

Speed limits are determined through speed studies that analyze data using the “85th percentile speed.” The “85th percentile speed” is the speed at or below 85 percent of vehicles that are traveling. Though these studies, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Michigan State Police are able to set speed limits for our Michigan highways and roads.

A study recently done by the MDOT will raise the speed limits in some of Ypsilanti’s busiest intersections and areas. Ypsilanti is near the City of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The recent study was presented by Michigan State Police Lt. Thad Peterson to the Ypsilanti City Council, to increase speed limits as much as up to 10 miles per hour.  This increase in speed limits will not include areas that have high pedestrian populations, such as Cross Street and areas near Eastern Michigan University’s campus.

According to Peterson, results from the study are concluded by examing a road’s accident history, the number of lanes, the number of curves and how many hills it has, as well as roadside environment, which includes access points, the number of cars, the number of crosswalks, stop signs, and more. Peterson also says that most car accidents and those injured in are due to reckless driving, distraction, or drinking and driving, not excessive speeding.

For those that believe raising the speed limits will cause more car accidents in Michigan, Peterson says, “Contrary to popular belief, increasing speed limits has quite the opposite effect. Everyone thinks if you increase the speed limit drivers go faster and it tends not to happen that way. There is a very small percentage of people that actually speed up.”

By setting the speed limit in Ypsilanti, Michigan near the 85th percentile speed, it brings drivers to a normal range of speed, reducing speed diffentials, tailgaiting, and less car accidents.

Not everyone is on board for these changes however. Ypsilanti councilmember Michael Bodary is highly agains the idea claiming that the proposed changes include roads where there is significant amount of lane changing and by increasing the speed on those streets would also cause more car accidents and potentially more fatalities.

To learn more about the speed limit increase in Ypsilanti, Michigan, visit http://www.annarbor.com/news/ypsilanti/michigan-state-police-and-mdot-proposes-more-speed-limit-increases-in-ypsilanti/



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