Justification for the 55 mph speed limit from an energy perspective was that since motor gasoline consumption depends directly on rate of consumption per mile and since rate of consumption per mile depends directly on highway speed, then if speed is reduced, rate of consumption and hence total motor gasoline consumption would decline. A number of studies suggest that the change in the speed limit did reduce fuel consumption from pre-limit consumption. One factor not addressed in these and other studies was whether this reduction was solely the result of the reduction in the speed limit or whether it was a function of other variables as well. For example, did (does) the rise in price of motor gasoline play a role in reducing speed and hence motor gasoline consumption? This article investigates whether adherence to the 55 mph speed limit is a function of these other variables. The results do suggest that adherence to the 55 mph speed limit does depend on the time cost of travel, cost in terms of discomfort and irritability, enforcment and, for a subset of states, the price of motor gasoline.

Media Info

  • Features: Figures;
  • Pagination: p. 533-547
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00600609
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Oct 31 1990 12:00AM