Speed Limits to Increase on Arkansas State Highways and Interstates

Whether you are making the morning commute on Interstate 49, traversing the state on Interstate 40, or find yourself on an Arkansas State Highway just to get out of the house during the coronavirus pandemic—the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARD) has determined that you can legally drive a little bit faster.

Last month, the Arkansas State Highway Commission moved to adopt proposals from a safety and engineering study that determined that it is safe to increase speed limits in certain types of roadways. The study examined four different groups: (1) Rural Interstates; (2) Urban Interstates; (3) Rural Multi-Lane Highways; and (4) Other Rural Highways. Upon a full review, the highway commission determined that speeds could increase to 75 mph on the interstate (and increase by 5 mph on all state highways).

The key findings of the study were based upon the volume of motor vehicle collisions, locations of collisions, and engineering mechanisms that increased (or decreased) the potential for car accidents. According ARDOT spokesperson, Randy Ort: “Facilities are safer these days, we have wired up safety fences, we have rumble strips, we have other safety features, our vehicles are safer as well so that has helped.”

The timeline for when these changes will go in to effect is unknown, but it is anticipated to be completed within the next several months. During a press conference, ARDOT emphasized that speed limits do not change until the actual physical sign changes. So, it is important to exercise caution and awareness on any roadways you travel for the upcoming months.

While the study did find that speeds can be increased from engineering standpoint, the ARDOT spokesperson noted that they will have to watch the human behavior standpoint very closely. Stating that if there are any increases in serious crashes, serious injury crashes, or fatality collisions, that ARDOT has authority to do another study and lower the speed limits again. ARDOT says the change of speed limit signs and implementing the project will cost about $350,000.  

The Keith Law Group has proudly represented numerous drivers and passengers who were injured because of car accidents, and we will continue to monitor the impact of the speed limit increases on our community in the future. Our practice is about helping people and making the future better. If we do see an increase of injury collisions, we will do everything we can to relay this information to the highway commission and legislators across the State of Arkansas.

If you, or someone you care about, is a victim of a car accident case in Northwest Arkansas, Central Arkansas, or the Arkansas Delta, call, text, or email us now to discuss your potential case. 

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