Fastest and Slowest Speed Limits Across America

speed limit sign

If you’re planning a road trip this season, keep a close eye on your speedometer. Each state can set its own speed limits, so they vary widely across the country. A handful of jurisdictions maintain a respectable 55-mph limit on urban routes, while others keep theirs at 60, 65 or 70.

The Upper Limit?

Five states allow a head-spinning 75 mph on urban roadways, and on certain stretches of rural highways, it soars to 80 or even 85 mph.

Unless otherwise posted, 55 mph is the default limit on two-lane rural roads in many states. Posted or not, it pays to familiarize yourself with each state’s limits and let common sense prevail: always drive at a safe speed. So what states have the fastest and slowest urban speed limits?

Slowest Speed Limit (55 mph or lower)

  • Alaska
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Hawaii (50 mph)
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont

Fastest Speed Limits (75+ mph)

  • Arizona
  • Idaho
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota

Speaking of safety, find out which 2016 vehicles made it onto the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s list of Top Safety Picks.

What’s the speed limit in your state? Tell us below.

By David Wright

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  1. Leonard Haley says

    Interstate 70 secondary roads 60 four lane some are 65 and urban Streets35 to 40 mph school zones 10 to 20 mph

  2. Keith Oustalet says

    Dallas, Texas has a 75 mph speed limit on the so-called “George Bush” Turnpike, and 85 mph on Interstate 10 between Fort Stickton and El Paso.

  3. F. L. Jeffries says

    Here in Texas speed limits are high because there is a lot of space to cover. Interstate speeds are 65-70 through most of the cities, 75-80 outside the cities in open areas and 85 on one highway between San Antonio and Austin. Even at these limits most drivers will pass you if you are cruising at the upper limits!

    • Ricky Lee says

      That’s to bad. The lowered to 55 miles an hour in 1974 and stayed that way for 20 years. It sucked driving so slow. 70 seemed fast and usually got you pulled over. Unfortunately now it’s gone to the other extreme.

      After years of lower traffic accident fatalities deaths have begun to rise again in recent years in spite of all the great safety advances made in vehicles.

      The argument that a large state needs extra fast speed limits is bizarre…

    • Force Trooper says

      It varies from state to state and depends on the type of highway. If the minimum speed limit is not posted, 10 under the posted limit is a good rule of thumb. However, keep in mind that driving even that much slower than the limit will make you a hazzard to faster drivers so if you want to travel that slow, you should turn on your flashers. Also, most states have a law against impeding traffic. Such laws require drivers travelling under the speed limit to move out of the way of faster traffic.

  4. C. Reece says

    God forbid if you travel between North Carolina and New York State. While the North Carolina interstate speed limit is 70 mph, beware when approaching Washington, DC. I’ve been ticketed because Washington DC’s speed limit is 55. If you’re driving through DC make sure you ease up off the gas; DC is infamous for hidden speed cameras. There’s nothing like getting a $100 and/or $200 ticket in the morning mail for exceeding their speed limit. God forbid if there’s a delay paying the fine; it can double in 30 days. Ouch! On the interstates, it seems everyone else but you is exceeding the speed limit. I wonder if they’re ticketed by mail.

  5. Greg Siska says

    These higher speeds are needed in the West, where distances are really, really, long. for a 500 mile trip, doing 80 vs 60 means you get there in ~6 hours vs ~8 . Wow!

  6. Ina M. says

    Arizona is 75 but drive 75 on the highway and you had better be in the slow lane because every car on the road will pass you.

  7. RS David says

    Vermont has VERY few roads you can actually travel at 65. Federal Interstates 89 & 91, and a short stretch of Vermont State Rt 7. Mostly 50 mph is the fastest you can travel everywhere else. Probably a good thing with all of the snow!