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USA Speed Limits by State

Why do the maximum speed limits in the USA vary by state?

Speed limits in the USA are set by the state rather than at national level and are posted in miles per hour (mph) and generally use increments of 5mph. Some states have reduced speed limits for trucks and when driving at night. The general rule of thumb is that states with vast open freeways will tend to have higher speed limits, whereas smaller states with higher populations and busier freeways are likely to have the slower maximum speed limits.
usa state speed limits
Washington D.C unsurprisingly has the lowest speed limit in the USA at just 55mph, although technically it doesn’t have any rural freeways, so its fastest roads are urban freeways. Texas has the highest speed limit in the USA at a brisk 85mph. Taking all states into account, the average maximum speed limit in the USA by state is 69.8mph, whilst the median speed limit is 70mph.

usa speed limits

Are there Minimum Speed Limits in the USA

Some states impose a minimum speed limit of 40mph, typically on freeways (motorways) to ensure that traffic using them keeps to a safe speed and flow of traffic.

Are there Speed Limits at Night in the USA

Some states impose reduced speed limits when driving at night. Where these are applied, any speed limit sign will state the general speed limit for the road (white sign / black text) with the night time speed limit immediately below with a black sign with white text. Whilst rare, you’re likely to see night time speed limits in the following locations;
 
  • Arizona – where no street lights present
  • Florida – named ‘Panther Zones’ or Panther X-ing’
  • Colorado – Highway 13 drops from 65mph by day to 55mph at night
  • Washington – Highway 20 drops to 45mph at night due to high number of deer on the road at night

Rural Freeway Speed Limits by State

55mph
60mph
65mph
70mph
75mph
85mph
D.C.
Hawaii
Alaska
Alabama
Arizona
Texas
 
 
Connecticut
Arkansas
Colorado
 
 
 
Delaware
California
Idaho
 
 
 
Illinois
Florida
Kansas
 
 
 
Maryland
Georgia
Louisiana
 
 
 
Massachussetts
Indiana
Maine
 
 
 
New Hampshire
Iowa
Montana
 
 
 
New Jersey
Kentucky
Nebraska
 
 
 
New York
Michigan
Nevada
 
 
 
Oregon
Minnesota
New Mexico
 
 
 
Pennsylvania
Mississippi
North Dakota
 
 
 
Rhode Island
Missouri
Oklahoma
 
 
 
Vermont
North Carolina
South Dakota
 
 
 
Wisconsin
Ohio
Wyoming
 
 
 
 
South Carolina
 
 
 
 
 
Tennessee
 
 
 
 
 
Virginia
 
 
 
 
 
Washington
 
 
 
 
 
West Virginia
 
 

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