New York speed limits can be set lower than the 55 mph maximum based on engineering and traffic studies and local conditions. Speed limits are usually determined by a traffic and engineering study to measure the speed that people naturally drive the stretch of road in question. The speed limit is then set to be close to the 85th percentile, the speed that 85% of drivers feel comfortable driving at. New York speed limits can be reduced even further than recommended by traffic studies near special hazards such as construction work and schools.

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