If you’ve been driving for any length of time, you may have asked yourself, “how are the speed limits determined?”

Many different variants try to explain the logic behind speed limit values. These theories can range from the simple fact that slower rates of speed often equate to a lower rate of accidents to conspiracy-esque theories that claim the Federal government punishes states if their maximum allowed speed limit exceeds a specific number.

How Speed Limits Are Made

The real answer when it comes to how speed limits are determined is somewhat complicated. When speed limits are created, research on accident rates at a given speed along with the design of the road, surrounding terrain, and overall driving behavior of the area are all taken into consideration before the speed limit is made.

The exact combination of these above factors to determine speed limits varies from state to state. In Missouri, the speed limit is heavily created from actual driving behavior in the state.

While the general assumption is that lower driving speeds equal to fewer accidents, this isn’t always the case.

Research has shown that drivers who tend to drive at speeds that they feel comfortable and safe at on any given roadway and in any situation. Speed limits in Missouri that reflect the approximate rate that most drivers feel comfortable driving at on certain roads are ideal.

If a speed limit is set too low, drivers can become frustrated, which causes other issues such as aggressive driving and road rage.

Speed Limits in Missouri

Ultimately if the speed limits are lower than they should be, this can lead to a situation where multiple drivers are moving at the set speed limit. At the same time, other drivers are becoming frustrated and try to move around them. These types of situations lead to more automobile accidents than if the speed limit had been set higher to reflect normal driving behavior.

Of course, it should be noted that the type of road and engineering also factor into determining the speed limit in Missouri and other states across the nation:

  • For a divided, straight, multi-lane highway, Missouri drivers can expect the maximum speed to be set at 70 miles per hour (MPH).
  • Urban highways or winding, undivided roads will have slightly lower speeds limits ranging from 55 MPH to 65 MPH.
  • Residential speed limits are reduced even further to take into account the increased traffic and amount of pedestrians, including children. These speed limits in Missouri are usually set between 35 MPH to 45 MPH. However, many residential speeds in various counties will even lower the speed limit further to 20 MPH.

Knowing these basic speed limit guidelines, it will be easier for you to make an educated guess based on the type of road and road conditions you are driving if you are ever unsure of the speed limit. However, be sure to err on the side of caution when “guessing” the speed limit, and go a little slower than you think the speed limit is. This way, you’ll be less likely to be pulled over for speeding in Missouri.

If you have received a speeding ticket in Missouri, contact Springfield Traffic Tickets today. We can help fight your traffic ticket and reduce it to a lower infraction.