Raising speed limits on highways could lead to more crashes on nearby roads, according to new research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

AAA Foundation researchers investigated whether changes to posted speed limits on interstate highways could cause drivers to adopt risky speeding behaviors on local streets.

The study looked at crash data before and after speed limit increases on interstates in Georgia, Michigan, and Oregon. Hot spot analyses were conducted on roads within a one-mile radius of interstates. Researchers found many instances where speed-related crashes increased on nearby roads following the interstate speed limit change, suggesting that drivers exiting the highway continued their faster tendencies.

“Increasing posted speed limits on freeways may improve traffic flow but could also lead to safety concerns in adjacent communities once speeding drivers proceed to neighboring roadways,” said Dr David Yang, president and executive director of the AAA Foundation.

“Local streets around our homes are designed for slower speeds and diverse road users such as pedestrians and cyclists—not for speeding drivers.”