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Texas opens nation's first 85-mph highway

A Texas family is mourning the death of a 16-year-old boy who was killed in a car accident. The accident occurred when the boy was driving home from work and his car was struck by a pick-up truck. The couple driving the pick-up was trying to make a quick getaway after shoplifting a comforter and some pillows. They sped through an intersection and crashed into another truck before hitting the teen's car. The car erupted into flames, and the boy was killed. A 17-year-old passenger was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

Fatal car accidents such as this one are often caused by reckless driving. Reckless driving can often result in speeding, wildly changing lanes and improper passing. Reckless driving accidents have made speed limits a highly debated issue all across the country.

In 1995, Congress gave states the authority to determine speed limits and Texas responded by increasing its speed limits. Last year, the Legislature gave TxDOT even more power by allowing them to set speed limits of 75 mph and higher. Because of this, almost 7,000 miles of Texas roads have a speed limit of 75 mph, and almost 600 miles have a limit of 80 mph. Texas has recently increased the speed limit to 85 mph on a portion of the Texas 130 tollway, making it the nation's fastest highway. TxDOT will receive economic benefits from the company who built the tollway as well as toll revenue for many years to come.

There is some concern that the increased speed limit will lead to more accidents, but the Texas Department of Transportation says that the higher speed limit does not make the road any less safe than it was before. Data shows that past speed limit increases did not cause more accidents and that traffic fatalities are on a decline. Others point out that the lower number of fatalities also has to do with vehicle safety improvements and less driving in general, and that road safety is affected by speed limit. Reckless driving can cause many accidents and families who lose loved ones in these types of accidents have many options for recovery.

Source: KHOU.com, "Friends, family mourn over death of teen in fatal car crash," Oct. 20, 2012

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Brian Jensen

Representation in the Houston Area with 3 Convenient Locations:

Bellaire Office
Frost Bank Building, 6750 West Loop South, Suite 800
Bellaire, TX 77401

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Phone: 832-460-3366
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Houston, TX 77002

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