Some speed limits are theoretically designed to keep you from killing yourself. Others are there to keep you from using too much fuel during a gas crisis. And still others are completely arbitrary.
Whether or not speed actually kills is a debate for another day. But if you look around at the vast majority of drivers on the road today, you'd have to agree that most of them shouldn't be cruising around at 120 MPH. However, some speed limits are clearly not designed with safety or fuel economy in mind. In fact, many speed limits seem designed to do nothing but irritate any motorist actually cognizant of the fact that they are currently driving.
One such speed limit exists on Interstate 95 through New Haven, Connecticut. 95 is one of the country's longest roads, and is the nation's busiest (and most incomplete) interstate highway. And, as anyone who has ever driven on it can tell you, it's a total hellhole. As it widens to about 6 lanes in each direction past the New Haven IKEA, the speed limit inexplicably drops to an almost-residential 40 MPH. Why on earth would anybody choose this? There is no valid explanation for a 40 MPH speed limit on a 12 lane superhighway.
I-95 is a personal pet peeve of almost everyone on the East Coast. It's a disaster disguised as a megalopolis, and one with shockingly inane speed limit changes occurring throughout its busiest sections. Where else in the country are there arbitrary speed limits? Too high, too low, or just plain weird? Pictures/maps in the comments or it doesn't exist.
(QOTD is your chance to address the day's most pressing automotive questions and to experience the opinions of the insightful insiders, practicing pundits, and gleeful gearheads that make up the Jalopnik commentariat. If you've got a suggestion for a good Question of the Day, send an email to tips at jalopnik dot com.)
Photo Credit: Doug Kerr