America's Five Fastest Roads

MMS ID 50782 (created by CM Utility) automatic-content-migration

The average speedster traveled 81 mph on America’s top 10 fastest roads, down from 85 mph last year, according INRIX, a traffic data firm. The company attributes the decline to rising gas prices and increased traffic enforcement.

Even so, some of the fastest-traveled roads for 2011 see top speeds that inch awfully close to the century mark. Most of the roads are long, open stretches that connect major urban centers, according to Yahoo Autos.

The fastest speeds in the U.S. were clocked on the northbound section of Arizona State Route 79, between Saguaro National Park and Phoenix. There, the top speed recorded was 94 mph, while the top 5% of motorists using the road traveled an average speed of 88 mph. Arizona’s speed limit is 75 mph in rural areas, Yahoo Autos says.

The decline in average speeds is attributed to higher gas prices – which help encourage slower (i.e. more fuel-efficient) driving – but also to the struggling economy and high unemployment, which is keeping young drivers off the road. Youth employment tends to trend higher than national norms, and young motorists tend to engage in the riskiest driving behaviors, said Tom Kloza, an oil and gas expert at Oil Price Information Service.

Continue reading below to see the top five fastest roads traveled in the U.S.

5. Arizona State Route 77
Northbound out of Tucson to the AZ-76/Redington Road interchange near San Manuel Airport

Average speed of fastest 5%: 81 mph
Top speed clocked by INRIX: 81 mph
Length of corridor: 4.8 miles

4. Eastbound MI-5 Michigan Highway
Heading into Detroit from the I-275/I-96 interchange to Telegraph Road

Average speed of fastest 5%: 81 mph
Top speed clocked by INRIX: 83 mph
Length of corridor: 4.9 miles

3. California State Route 73
In both directions between Moulton Parkway and Bear Street

Average speed of fastest 5%: 81 mph
Top speed clocked by INRIX: 85 mph
Length of corridor: 14.8 miles

2. Oklahoma State Highway 33
In both directions just Northwest of Oklahoma City

Average speed of fastest 5%: 83 mph
Top speed clocked by INRIX: 87 mph
Length of corridor: 24 

1. Northbound Arizona State Route 79
Between Saguaro National Park and Phoenix

Average speed of fastest 5%: 88 mph
Top speed clocked by INRIX: 94 mph
Length of corridor: 17.6 miles

America’s 5 Fastest Roads (Yahoo Autos, via Forbes

Latest expert reviews