Just months after the speed limit on many sections of Wisconsin’s Interstate system was increased to 70 miles an hour, new figures from the state show the number of traffic crashes on those routes have also gone up.
Figures from Wisconsin Bureau of Transportation Safety, compiled by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who a 13 percent increase in traffic accidents during in June through September of this year, compared to the same time period in 2014, with 319 more crashes. The state began installing new 70 mph signs on Interstates in June, after the Legislature authorized the increases earlier in the year.
A spokesman for the State Patrol said it’s an interesting statistic, but also stressed it does not necessarily show a direct correlation between the two factors. Sergeant Tim Austin noted that, during the same time period, there has also been an increase in the number of miles traveled on Wisconsin roads, and more cases of distracted driving.
Austin said drivers should be driving more defensively and work to reduce distractions while they are behind the wheel. “If we can reduce driver distraction, that would certainly help,” he said.