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Get to the Black Hills faster: SD speed limit going up to 80 mph

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Getting from one end of South Dakota to the other will be a slightly faster trip come Wednesday.

The speed limit on some major highways will increase to 80 mph, Forum News Service reports, a change approved by lawmakers and signed by the governor this year.

The increase (from 75 mph) affects South Dakota's interstate highways – which is really just two highways. One (Interstate 29) cuts north-south, near the eastern border of the state. The other (Interstate 90) goes east-west, from the border of Minnesota to Wyoming.

An unscientific Argus Leader poll found 63 percent of respondents for it, and 37 percent against it.

Forum News Service notes the speed limit will stay where it's been in cities, which vary, and other highways will remain at 75 mph.

In Minnesota, the highest speed limit comes on rural interstate highways, topping out at 70 mph. The state's Department of Transportation is currently studying highways across the state, seeing if a speed limit increase makes sense.

Do higher speeds mean more accidents?

The speed limit has gone up on many U.S. highways, the LA Times reports, especially in the more open, western states. And safety officials note high speeds are a contributing factor in one-third of all highway deaths in the country.

But that doesn't mean there are more total accidents.

When Texas was considering raising one highway's speed limit to 85 mph, Slate came to the conclusion higher speeds don't cause more crashes and accidents – but when those crashes and accidents happen, they tend to be more severe.

Trucks may require more attention however.

An Associated Press report from this week found most truck tires are designed for a maximum speed of 75 mph – and going above that meant risking a blowout. Driving faster than 75 mph was the likely cause in 16 different tire blowouts examined, the AP says a federal investigation determined.

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