Illinois Senate Votes to Increase Highway Speed Limit to 70

The Illinois Senate voted to increase the state maximum speed to 70 miles per hour on highways, a 5 mile per hour increase over the state’s current limit of 65 mph. The bill has some flexibility and would allow Cook County, some collar counties, and two counties near St. Louis to opt out of the increase if officials determined it would be proper to do so.Sponsored by Senator Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, the bill has been touted as being business-friendly by allowing commerce to move at a quicker pace. The bill passed easily in the Senate with a 41-6 vote and now moves onto the House. If the bill becomes law, the speed increase would take effect January 1, 2014.

Faster speed limits allow all drivers to get to their destinations quicker than they would in a slower speed zone. But fast transit time is not the only thing to be concerned of when considering highway speeds. Studies have routinely found that higher highway speeds are correlated with greater numbers of fatal accidents in the State, which in turn costs the state millions of dollars each year.

In 2009, car accidents caused by speeding on interstates resulted in 51 fatalities in Illinois alone. Of those fatalities, 41 took place in areas with a speed limit in excess of 55 miles per hour. This is because as vehicles travel at higher rates of speed, the force of a collision likewise increases, causing the vehicles involved to suffer greater damage and more serious injuries than they would in a crash with slower speeds.

Increased speeds also cause drivers to have slower reaction times, a critical tool when it comes to defensive driving and avoiding dangerous situations. With less time to react to danger, a crash is more likely to occur.

As car crash lawyers, we handle cases every day where one driver caused a collision by driving faster than necessary. Many of these collisions could be eliminated or at least reduced in severity if drivers slowed down and paid attention to their surroundings. While an increased speed limit may appear to have some benefits, it certainly has some negatives that should be considered before new law is enacted.

The lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. work exclusively on injury claims, including all types of car accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash, call the Illinois car accident lawyers at Abels & Annes, PC. today. You may have a claim against the at-fault driver for your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses you incurred. Talk to a legal expert today by calling (855) LAW-CHICAGO. We have a lawyer available 24 hours a day to answer your call.


Illinois Senate OKs 70 mph highway speed limit, by Rafael Guerrero and Ray Long, Chicago Tribune, April 24, 2013.

Table 1108 of the 2010 Census, U.S. Census Bureau, 2012.

Prior Blogs:

Firey Truck Crash Seriously Injures 4 in Illinois, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, April 23, 2013.

Rear-End Collision with Semi Leaves Chicagoan Dead, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, April 19, 2013.

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