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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

How Fast Do You Drive

In 1974 the federal government passed the National Maximum Speed Law. This law restricted the maximum permissible vehicle speed limit to 55 miles per hour (mph) This speed would be allowed on all interstate roads in the United States. President Nixon would sign a law into existence that would lower the driving speed to 55 mph. The reason behind the change in law was due to an oil embargo in 1973. The law was intended to reduce fuel consumption.

Prior to this date each state could set their own driving speed limits. Speed limits would range from 40 mph to 80 mph. Oil from the middle east could be easily accessed and rather cheap in the years between 1950 to 1972. The Arab Israeli conflict would change this in 1973. OPEC would protest the west's support of Israel and stopped oil shipments to the United States, Japan and Western Europe. OPEC would stop America's consumer and industries thirst for oil by quadrupling oil prices. President Nixon would sign the 55 mph law to help curb the appetite for foreign oil. The period of fuel conservation and rationing would occur such an occurrence had not happened since World War II

Eventually OPEC would lift the embargo and gas rates would reduce. Each state would gradually meet an equivalent speed limit. Now 30 + years later the speed limits are much higher.

I can recall many hollering about the speed limit reduction. In fact the song "I can't drive 55" was very popular during my school years

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  1. I remember when the speed limits were reduced to 55. I also remember hearing Sammy Hagar frequently. In fact, the tune came right to my brain as I began to read your post. I'm glad that we now have vehicles that have better gas mileage and we can drive faster.

    Jingle Jangle Jungle

  2. Oh wow this is really interesting to read. I had no idea this happened over there. What are your limits now? Here 70 is the highest we can go.

  3. I Had no idea the reduced speed was related to oil consumption. I'm in California many of the freeways still enforce 55MPH, stretches ate 65MPH


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