Speed limits in the USA are set by each individual state rather than the whole country abiding by one national speed limit. This can make things a little tricky when traveling to other states other than your home state.
US speed limits are measured by miles per hour (mph), unlike many other countries that calculate speed using kilometers per hour (kph) and are usually in increments of 5mph. Let’s take a look at the various speed limits in the USA.
The speed limits in the USA usually come with varying rules depending on the state you are driving in. An example is that certain states reduce their speed limits for specific types of trucks, or if you are driving at night in the dark.
The general consensus with regards to speed limits in the USA is that states with multiple freeways will have higher speed limits than ones that don’t. The smaller states with higher populations and busier roads and highways will usually have slower speed limits to control the movement of traffic better and reduce congestion.
If you would like to go straight to our interactive speed limit map that shows you the speed limits in each state, then follow the link where you can hover over any US state to see its maximum speed limit.
US Speed Limits Map
With the lowest speed limit out of all 50 states, Washington DC has a maximum lawful speed limit of just 55mph. Whereas the fastest speed limit in the US is currently held by Texas with 85mph being the highest speed limit you can legally go within the state. All of this can be seen and downloaded for reference on our US speed limits map.
This US speed limits map indicates the maximum speed limit in all 50 US states.
After taking all 50 states into account, the average maximum speed limit in the US works out at roughly 69 mph, and the maximum median speed limit is 70mph. Some states actually have a minimum speed limit (on the interstate), it is set at 40mph and usually applies when you are driving on a highway/interstate or freeway to ensure that vehicles are traveling at a safe speed.
There are also different speed limits that specifically apply during nighttime in some states that have not been included in our US speed limits map, however, you can find more information about this by clicking the link further down the page.
Speed Limit Map USA
The national speed limit in the USA is named the National Maximum Speed Law (NMSL), and it was introduced in the US through traffic regulations and laws. Speed limits have always varied depending on which state you are in; however, in 1974, the president at the time, President Nixon, introduced a national limit of 55mph, which can be seen as a reflection on our interactive speed limit map USA further down the page.
The new national limit was implemented to reduce fuel usage and lower the cost of car maintenance. This improved safety on the roads and stabilized fuel price issues, resulting in the NMSL rising to 65mph on certain roads in 1987 – 1988. For more information on this law and other speed limit laws regarding school zones and other speed limit exceptions, check out the Federal Highway Administration website.
After the election in 1995, the United States Congress allowed individual states to decide on the specific speed limits they would like to set in their state.
The most common USA speed limit is 70mph and out of all 19 states that use this maximum speed limit, a well-known state to adopt this speed limit in Florida as seen in our interactive speed limit map of the USA below. If you are interested in learning about the speed limit in Florida, including the variation depending on your location, etc. make sure to take a look at our page on this.
Here is our interactive speed limit map for the USA, here you will see the maximum speed limit revealed for the state you hover your cursor over. As seen on the static map further up the page, the speed limit in the US ranges from 55mph to 85mph.
This table reflects the speed limit map USA in a table format