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Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits  
User currently offlineL0VE2FLY From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 1630 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 9441 times:

There's no question about the importance of speed limits in road safety, yet the German Autobahns have an acceptable safety rating despite having no enforced speed limit. How is that possible? And why no other developed country have adopted the Autobahns model?

132 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBraniff747SP From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 3006 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 9451 times:

Only parts of the autobahn have no speed limits. There are several factors for this being possible, including the fact that the roads are much better and that the road rules are more stringent.


The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
User currently offlinefalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6159 posts, RR: 29
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 9437 times:
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The word autobahn and highway are pretty much interchangable. We Americans tend to think of it as a special word. I used to have a gps that had many language options, when I switched it to German it would call my local highways an Autobahn.


My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8925 posts, RR: 24
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 9435 times:

Lane discipline is rigorously enforced in Europe (not just in Germany). When I moved back to the states after 20 years there, it took me 6 months before I could bring myself to pass a left-lane hogger on the right. German cars are also subject to more stringent periodic safety checks - not just pollution controls like we do here. When I look around the parking lot at the office, I see that at least a third of them have bald tires, and I would bet many of them have sub-standard brakes and suspensions as well.

If you have lane discipline and vehicles in relatively good shape, high speeds are not a problem.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlinelh526 From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 2380 posts, RR: 14
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 9430 times:
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About the half of all german Autobahns are without any speed limit... and that's exactly what improves the safety! You are always vigilant, check your surrounding, have the other drivers and cars in sight. You are not driving all-on-your-own, you are merely driving in that big flock of cars, only pass on the left, look way ahead and always have that extra portion of safety in the back of your head.

Plus, to quote a master: "Speed hasn't killed anybody, suddently becoming stationary is what gets you"



Trittst im Morgenrot daher, seh ich dich im Strahlenmeer ...
User currently offlinebhill From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1010 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 9420 times:

No shaving, putting on makeup, yakking on the phone....you get the idea.


Carpe Pices
User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2644 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 9403 times:

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 1):
including the fact that the roads

Actually, they aren't. If you, for example, compare the A5 between Karlsruhe and Freiburg with the 401 between London, ON and Woodstock, ON, the 401 is straighter, wider, has an inner paved shoulder and very long merging lanes. It's a better highway altogether. Yet the 401 has a limit of 100 km/h (that, according to some, is very dangerous to disobey) and the A5 has no limit.

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Thread starter):
And why no other developed country have adopted the Autobahns model?

Simple. There is a lot of money in setting and enforcing the speed limits.The govermnets, municipalities and companies involved in speeding industry just won't give it up.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15812 posts, RR: 27
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 9344 times:

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 6):
Simple. There is a lot of money in setting and enforcing the speed limits.The govermnets, municipalities and companies involved in speeding industry just won't give it up.

American police need to stop enforcing speed limits on rural highways and start citing drivers for improper use of the left lane. People would get where they are going faster and governments would make more money.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinefalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6159 posts, RR: 29
Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 9343 times:
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Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 3):
German cars are also subject to more stringent periodic safety checks - not just pollution controls like we do here

Some states like Michigan have no inspection at all, of any kind. Every time something like this comes up (which is rarely) the civil rights and minority groups get all up in arms because they claim it will keep the poor from driving. Some states have Safety and emission inspection; Missouri requires safety inspection all over the state, but emission, in only some areas.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 3):
I would bet many of them have sub-standard brakes and suspensions as well.

Probably way more than you could imagine. My students and I fix brakes that are BAD on a weekly basis. We have replaced master cylinders that are faulty, but people have been driving on for months. I see caliper pistons tearing into rotors, blown out wheel cylinders, rusted in half brake lines, and sometimes multiple problems in the same car. These aren't just student's cars, many times it is parents and staff. There cars aren't falling apart because they can't keep them up, it is because they don't even know they have a problem.

I hear this all the time too: "I need an alignment, can you do it". Cars don't need an alignment unless you have replaced something or something is worn, broken, or bent. When I come back and say " You need a ball joint" or something like that people get all pissy and say "but it just needs aligned, just do that".

I can't be too picky, my $600 truck wouldn't pass inspection in any state that has them. It is reasonably safe, for a Detroit vehicle.



Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 6):
There is a lot of money in setting and enforcing the speed limits.

Yep. That is very lucrative.

Quoting lh526 (Reply 4):
About the half of all german Autobahns are without any speed limit... and that's exactly what improves the safety!

From my observations, from driving on German roads, is that most people are not really going that fast. Most people aren't driving at 200mph. I drive with my friend Lutz and he rarely exceeds 125 km/h. He is a police officer and isn't too big a fan of reckless driving.

Another buddy of mine drives a bit faster. A couple of years ago we got his Smart Roadster going as fast as it would go.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/FranceandGerman026-1.jpg



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently onlineCPH-R From Denmark, joined May 2001, 6035 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 9339 times:

Quoting lh526 (Reply 4):
About the half of all german Autobahns are without any speed limit... and that's exactly what improves the safety! You are always vigilant, check your surrounding, have the other drivers and cars in sight. You are not driving all-on-your-own, you are merely driving in that big flock of cars, only pass on the left, look way ahead and always have that extra portion of safety in the back of your head.

Of course, that also means you have to be extra vigilant when someone in front of you isn't paying attention. I can still remember driving on the A5 between Karlsruhe and Freiburg one very early summer morning, and coming up behind a van swerving from side to side across both lanes.


User currently offlineGeezer From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 1479 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 9308 times:

I have been considering this exact question now, for more than 50 or 60 years; I believe I now have the answer, I think i have it all "figured out"; whether or not I'll be able to explain it all, is another matter; (but i'll try)

ih526 has one part of it; the roads are "better", the drivers are more "vigilant", etc. that's a big part of it.

It's not only easy, it's painfully obvious why there are so many car crashes in the U.S. It's because, over all, "on average".....U.S. drivers are TERRIBLE ! by any standard you wish to apply, drivers in the U.S. are absolutely terrible ! Why do I say this ? About my "fellow Americans" ? Only because it happens to be completely true ! Now....after saying that, (and no doubt pissing a lot of Americans off, I'll back it up with 40 years worth of personal observation.

First......we must define what constitutes a "good driver"; that's rather easy to do; a really good driver must be many things;
I'll attempt to enumerate a few of them; (We'll call them "must have's") Must have a good attitude; must have sufficient training; must have a thorough knowledge of all traffic laws; must have a thorough knowledge of all safety rules; must be completely cognizant of all aspects of "defensive driving" (that one right there rules out about 80% of all licensed drivers in the U. S.) must have clear cut objective of where he (or she) wants to go, exactly how to get there, with a fervent desire to arrive safely, with no damage to person or vehicle, and a commitment to aid other motorists to do the same.

Must start every trip (be it around the block to the beauty parlor, or 2,000 miles away to Tucumcari, N.M.) well rested, completely sober, excellent frame of mind, and the ever-necessary "good attitude" to complete said trip in one's own lane, obeying all applicable traffic laws, while keeping one's mind COMPLETELY on one's driving, while at the same time, maintaining complete situational awareness at all times, thus being alert to other drivers failing to do so, and being instantly ready and fully prepared to take necessary and appropriate measure if and when encountering others not doing so.

When you can meet this criteria, you may consider yourself to be well on the way to being a "good driver".

As we all know, drivers meeting these standards of qualification are the exception, rather than the rule. If and when we can turn this this unfortunate fact around, making "good drivers" the "rule", rather than the "exception", we will then be able to have autobahn type, no speed limit highways, and still maintain an enviable safety record.

BTW..........I don't see this happening in the U.S. any time soon.

You may think that's all there is to it; you would be wrong. Second is Licensing............

In order to drive, all drivers must be licensed ; sounds good so far; but it isn't good; it's PATHETIC ! Case in point;

Little Cedric gets out of High School, (has taken driver's ed), goes to licensing "place", and is "tested"; by who ? Why, an "individual" whose qualifications for being a "tester" is a uniform (which says "official tester" over the breast pocket, and who has completed the "tester qualification course", (which lasts for two whole days!)

Little Cedric does well, drives all the way around the block without crashing, and is issued his drivers license; at this point, as long as he avoids running over a bus load of Brownie Scouts, or never is never convicted in more than 6 duo's in one year, Cedrics NEXT obligatory trip tom the "testing place" will occur when he's 92 yrs old, and HAS run over a bus load of Brownie Scouts.

What all of this points out is................the States, (who are responsible for issuing operators licenses) are NOT "responsible" ! Not EVEN !

Contrast this "system" with the way licenses for flying airplanes is handled; (and I think everyone on Airliners.net is aware of how this works.) Are you kind of starting to see why I say U.S. drivers are "terrible" ? Do you know anyone who "qualifies" to drive a car ?

End Part One

Charley



Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
User currently offlineaerobalance From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 4683 posts, RR: 46
Reply 11, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 9305 times:

- Roads are built for high speed use, billiard table smooth.
- Autos are in better condition
- Drivers are trained better

Not in that order but all are what I witness when I drive on the Autobahn. These three items are severely lacking in consistency in the United States.



"Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy..."
User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 9268 times:

Without writing a tome, it's very simple; U.S. drivers suck. It's partially because some people are as*holes because they were probably born that way and also because some people are as*holes behind the wheel because they never learned common sense (let alone how to operate machinery).

Driver Ed programs are simply another tax collection agency. Most driver ed instructors can't drive responsibly themselves let alone "train" someone else, irrespective of age. regards...jack



all best; jack
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21496 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 9236 times:



Quoting aerobalance (Reply 11):
- Roads are built for high speed use, billiard table smooth.

Many of them, at least. There are quite a few sections that are old and worn out as well, particularly with infrastructure spending somewhat suffering in recent years, but you can pretty much rely on those sections being fenced in with speed limits, since it would be outright dangerous otherwise. Same as the still frequent construction sites with standardized speed limits (80/60km/h). Which also implies that obeying the speed limits can be life-saving.

Quoting aerobalance (Reply 11):
- Drivers are trained better

Training is pretty rigidly prescribed and can only be done by licensed instructors; Many people need several expensive attempts to finally make the test; Some never manage it.

Even on top-grade autobahn sections with a top-notch car in perfect condition and with yourself well-rested, alert and always anticipating the (potentially reckless) actions of the other drivers, driving very fast is still elevating your risk, however.

It can be fun for a while, but in most cases the substantially higher fuel consumption, the stress and the risk are not really worth the few minutes you may be able to shave from your traveling time. About 130-140km/h usually works best.

[Edited 2013-01-04 17:13:22]

User currently offlineSuperCaravelle From Netherlands, joined Jan 2012, 259 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 9228 times:

Well, the Autobahns are partly limitless because of the massive automotive lobby in Germany (as I'm sure you all know big premium manufacturers like BMW, Merc, Porsche, Audi are from Germany).

Also, there has never been much reason to change to another model. As the first poster is saying, accident ratings do not give incentives to limit the speed. It remains to be seen however how long this situation continues to exist. Nowadays the environment is cited as the primary reason to introduce a general 130km/h (80mph) speed limit everywhere in Germany. Actually, the state of Bremen already introduced a general speed limit (but luckily only a ~70km stretch of Autobahn is situated there).

Personally, coming from a country where 1km/h over the speed limit will get you booked (doing 131km/h in the Netherlands will cost some €20), German motorways are an expression of freedom. I can't tell you how good it is to just drive, at the speed you want (which in my case is sometimes 180kmh, sometimes 120), without having to worry about it. It means a lot less attention is diverted to my speedometer, or the radio or my mobile phone where speed traps are announced and posted.

As long as you check your mirror twice before an overtaking move on the fast lane, not much can go wrong. It is important to always know at which speed the guy behind you is traveling, but that's not such a big deal, much less than you'd expect.

In Britain the 70mph speed limit was temporarily introduced, before that there were no speed limits on British motorways either. I don't think the limit will ever disappear though.


User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8925 posts, RR: 24
Reply 15, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 9214 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 13):
It can be fun for a while, but in most cases the substantially higher fuel consumption, the stress and the risk are not really worth the few minutes you may be able to shave from your traveling time. About 130-140km/h usually works best.

Bingo. The novelty and excitement of being allowed to drive maxed out quickly dies when you realize that having to stop and fill up with gas every hour sucks, not to mention the deathgrip on the steering wheel when going over 240 kmh or so gets tiring. Most people soon learn that even on the unlimited sections, you are better off cruising at little more than 150-160.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5478 posts, RR: 30
Reply 16, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 9193 times:

The Autobaun is not nearly as extensive or the free for all many think. That being said, I do know that a Smart car will do 153kph indicated, on said Autobaun, before the governor kicks in...though it does take some patience waiting for it to get there.

As well, a Smart car, (or any vehicle), will pass a lot of Mercs, Audis, vw's and BMW's while travelling at that speed.



What the...?
User currently offlineBraniff747SP From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 3006 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 9168 times:

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 6):
Actually, they aren't. If you, for example, compare the A5 between Karlsruhe and Freiburg with the 401 between London, ON and Woodstock, ON, the 401 is straighter, wider, has an inner paved shoulder and very long merging lanes. It's a better highway altogether. Yet the 401 has a limit of 100 km/h (that, according to some, is very dangerous to disobey) and the A5 has no limit.

I was referring to so something that I once saw in a documentary on the subject. Something to the effect of that the pavement itself is twice as thick as the comparable American highway; also, they are repaired often... There are some sections of the 405, for example, which are terrible with potholes. Even at 60 one is bouncing around like crazy.



The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8436 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 9159 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 7):
American police need to stop enforcing speed limits on rural highways and start citing drivers for improper use of the left lane.

You aren't going to see police or highway patrols turning their back on speeders. THose with experience have seen too many bodies from high speed driving, just as they have from drunk drivers. They generally don't stop someone going 2 - 4 miles over the limit (except in school zones) but they do stop speeders who are obviously going above the limits. I actually believe that passing a patrol car with lights blazing and a speeder sitting in front is a good "motivator" for driving within the limits.

And the other side of the coin is obviously money - tickets generate funds for a city, county, state, etc.

Quoting falstaff (Reply 8):
Some states like Michigan have no inspection at all, of any kind

Oklahoma used to have a reasonable inspection program but the conservatives in this state got rid of it.

As far as MI goes, my son moved there and his insurance took a major increase. When I asked why the response was that the state law required unlimited medical on the policies. A smart, but expensive approach.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 10):
Must start every trip

When you get down to it the first thing about safety is to start every trip without a concern about having to rush to get somewhere. Going across town as fast as you can might save 5 minutes, but throws up a basket of unnecessary risks.

For a long time I have left early to get somewhere on time. On road trips I don't mind taking an extra day. I stop when tired and rest up. I don't see any reason to drive 8 hours a day. If something is that important I can take a plane. I took the same approach when flying on business - for overseas trips I gave myself an extra day or two for travel. In the US I would fly out the night before instead of fighting the mad rush of flying the day of a meeting.

When Americans can relax on the road you'll see improvements.


User currently offlineGeezer From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 1479 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 9130 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 18):
Oklahoma used to have a reasonable inspection program but the conservatives in this state got rid of it.

Yeah, right, Ken.....musta been all George Bush's fault ! EVERYTHING is the Conservative's fault ! Cause Ken said so !
I'll bet if a bunch of liberals put their heads together, they could figure out a way that all these drunk drivers, driving while texting morons, driving while yaking 9 hours on cell phone, and probably even driving while naked is the conservative's fault !
(feel better now?)

Charley



Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
User currently offlinezippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5501 posts, RR: 13
Reply 20, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 9121 times:

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Thread starter):

It's my understanding, in Germany and other European nations, driver training and liscensing requirements are stricter than what he have in the USA. Therefore a correlation in safety. From what I gather driver training and education on the "Continent" is comparable to premium driver safety, and skill enhancing premium programs at such schools as Bob Bondaurant's School of Performance Driving out west.

And with our Interstates, some sections are updated and state of the art where many are aging, neglected and in need of a major overhaul.



I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
User currently offlineSuperCaravelle From Netherlands, joined Jan 2012, 259 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 9076 times:

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 16):
The Autobaun is not nearly as extensive or the free for all many think. That being said, I do know that a Smart car will do 153kph indicated, on said Autobaun, before the governor kicks in...though it does take some patience waiting for it to get there.

Actually around 55% is derestricted, and recently some new stretches were added to that (losing their speedlimit). But as most motorways around cities have a speed limit, it often seems most stretches are restricted.


User currently offlineB777LRF From Luxembourg, joined Nov 2008, 1434 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 9021 times:

Love the Autobahn, and I love to drive fast in a nice car. One of personal records is Leipzig to Brussels (650 km) in 4 hours and 35 minutes in a rented Jaguar XJ. I did slow down for Belgium and Holland, by going from 230 to 180  

Have done Cologne to Munich (580 km) in just over 4 hours, and Bonn to Copenhagen (950km) in 6, both at night during a week-end and both in my BMW 530d. (Traffic in Denmark is very thin at night, so I only reduced speed to 200).

Sure it requires a certain level of concentration and skill to be hammering around north of 200 kmh for hours on end, but personally I don´t find it particularly stressful. One just has to recognise it is only possible to drive really fast for extended periods at night, and to be aware there are tourists on the road increasing the risks. Yes, Dutch caravan haulers, I´m looking at you  



From receips and radials over straight pipes to big fans - been there, done that, got the hearing defects to prove
User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 23, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 9000 times:

Quoting falstaff (Reply 2):
The word autobahn and highway are pretty much interchangable. We Americans tend to think of it as a special word. I used to have a gps that had many language options, when I switched it to German it would call my local highways an Autobahn.

Sure, the Highway leading from Zürich to Milano begins as an Autobahn and then in the Gotthard-Tunnel becomes an Autostrada, but appears in English language travel guide as a highway. And let's not forget that the "highways" in Britain are "Motorways" --- while a "Route Nationale" in France is just a normal main-road owned by the "République" (nation) while the highways in France are "Autoroutes"


User currently offlineRabenschlag From Germany, joined Oct 2000, 1018 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 8948 times:

From my personal experience - in addition to what was said above - I observed much higher rates of drinking & driving in the US compared to Germany.Eating & Texting while driving: same thing. That might add to the equation.

25 TheSonntag : This is merely a public stunt, since they are not allowed to do it (they found some - rather rediculous - safety reasons to limit the speed on some s
26 na : Exactly. Speeding in the sense of reckless driving depends on the condition alone, not the mathematical speed. Its not the Ferrari blasting away with
27 KiwiRob : Really that sucks, what about benefit of the doubt for speedo's under reading. I love the autobahn and thrashed the crap out of my MINI Cooper D, acc
28 Post contains images rlwynn : On the way to the Nürburgring following a Ferrari. I do not have this Audi anymore due to the cost of Gasoline. I now have a Skoda Octavia which coul
29 Dreadnought : How about morons playing with their cell phones to take a picture of their dashboard at 260 kph?
30 Post contains images rlwynn : My brother in law took the picture from over my shoulder. You can see the edge of my head. I would never use a phone driving that fast. Suicide. Here
31 Dreadnought : Fair enough - my apologies. But such pics are quite common, and I am sure many were taken by the driver.
32 Post contains images Ken777 : Been a long time since Oklahoma had a liberal state government - not in my lifetime. The inspection was on trivial things like tires, lights working
33 racko : Actually very long very straight stretches are bad for safety, as they make you tired and less focused.
34 JoeCanuck : Germany was a beautiful country to drive in. The autobahn, the country roads...fantastic.
35 KiwiRob : Try driving the Nullarbor Plain Road 146.6 km of dead straight road, not fun.
36 DocLightning : So true. "Willfully obstructing traffic" is a valid offense. I am *so* tired of drivers driving below the speed limit in the left lane and then tappi
37 falstaff : The picture I posted of the 190 km/h speedometer was taken by me, the passenger, while my friend was driving. I think Missouri is the same.
38 blueflyer : Part of it comes down to us and money. Who in all honesty will vote for this program: -massive infrastructure overhaul to get rid of these dangerous p
39 Geezer : [quote=Klaus,reply=13]Even on top-grade autobahn sections with a top-notch car in perfect condition and with yourself well-rested, alert and always an
40 Redd : Hey, new member so be gentle, I have driven the autobahn between the border of Poland and Puttgarden Germany many times, and the drivers as soon as yo
41 Post contains images Dreadnought : Welcome to hell... I worked in Poland some 15 years or so, and yes there was a difference when crossing from Germany. but I also saw a difference bet
42 Post contains images Redd : Lol, glad to be here I've spent some time driving around Poland and you're right about that, also a very clear social & economic difference from
43 Post contains links and images B777LRF : Well, since we've opened Pandora's box showing off high-speed jaunts on the 'Bahn, let me add to the pile as well: My BMW 530d on very warm summers da
44 KiwiRob : What's really bad are the single lane roads with trucks drafting each other like madmen. I drove from Lithuania South to Warsaw then across to German
45 JoeCanuck : I lived in Odessa for a couple of years...exciting and exhausting driving there. Anybody can buy a license and there is no vehicle too wrecked that s
46 KiwiRob : Look again it's closer to an indicated 230kph.
47 Geezer : It's a damned good thing I don't live in Germany ! I wouldn't 15 minutes on that racetrack ! That's exactly what I was talking about when In said that
48 BMI727 : We'd be better off if they did and let rural roads go unlimited. German engineers found Americans' complaints about lack of cupholders amusing. Suppo
49 planewasted : If you consider the quality of the roads and cars in Germany I don't think the road safety is anything to brag about. I don't feel very safe when driv
50 aloges : I've just come back from a short visit to the US, which included a one-day 750 km road trip through PA, NJ and NY. The one thing that struck me is the
51 WildcatYXU : That's the modus operandi of speeding industry. Underpost the limit and then enforce it, while trying to convince the public that you're protecting i
52 N1120A : A couple things people don't seem to realize that should be clarified. 1) Autobahn is interchangable with Freeway or "Limited-Access Highway". 2) We a
53 Klaus : No! Safety is improved because all the necessary preconditions are enforced which make it possible to then raise the speed limit. Only eliminating th
54 Post contains links and images L0VE2FLY : I know, but people almost everywhere associate the word "Autobahn" with highways without speed limit. I noticed that on my visits to Europe. The gove
55 petertenthije : While the Netherlands has an official fixed speed limit (30/50/80/130), the majority of the motorway network has a de-factor variable speed limit. Th
56 MD11Engineer : Actually German law states that your speed has to fit the road and traffic conditions. It can never be higher than the posted limit, but if the road
57 Post contains images WildcatYXU : It's still only 7 km/h higher that the 130 km/h limit used quite widely in Europe. But way better and way more realistic than the 100 km/h limit in O
58 Dreadnought : I have a bone to pick with you Germans on that. You guys do NOT slow down for conditions. I've driven around Germany quite a bit, and when I was in m
59 Klaus : Not all of us are, but unfortunately there are still too many who massively underestimate the danger in dense fog. Driving 200 in such conditions is
60 Dreadnought : I've been passed like I was standing still, where the car was lost in the fog about a second later. And I have never been known as a slow driver - in
61 MD11Engineer : This German does, and believe me, up here near HHN we regularly get fog as dense that you can´t see 20 meters. If necessary (and this also means icy
62 Kent350787 : Even worse, it has a 110kmh maximum speed limit, as does all of South Australia. 100 in Victoria, 110 in NSW, Queensland and WA. At least the Norther
63 SuperCaravelle : Most of those matrix signs do not always show the speed limit, they are only in use when traffic is slow or construction is going on. There are a few
64 Post contains images L0VE2FLY : Good system to improve road safety and boost the revenue of the local governments. It's actually an expensive toll road as stated in the article, you
65 WildcatYXU : Well, compared to our 407 ETR it's actually inexpensive. If you'd travel the entire length of the 407 (107 km, 66.5 mi)), you'd pay $29.96 of toll.
66 ME AVN FAN : - ALL AUTOBAHNEN in Switzerland have the federal speed limit of 120 kilometers. Also ALL AUTOBAHNEN in Austria have clear speed limits. If you look a
67 WildcatYXU : Well, given that Switzerland has a reputation of having a rule/regulation for just about everything (I don't know if it's deserved or not), it's not
68 Post contains links Kent350787 : Not too many, and dawn and dusk are the major risk times. Before the limtis were introduced cruising at 165kmh was mostly fine, but chewed fuel nasty
69 ME AVN FAN : - extremely well deserved in fact. Speed limits for example. The Autobahnen have generally 120, but some sections have 70 or 80 or 90 or 100 or 110 j
70 N1120A : Remember that a private company fleeced the province in a moment of privatization stupidity over the 407. Also, the regular 400-series highways are a
71 ME AVN FAN : Alright, but to say it again, quite many Autobahnen in Germany HAVE speed limits and so do many sections of "unlimited" ones.Trendwise, those in the
72 iakobos : I had some spare time.... Evolution of the number of road fatalities in Europe over the period 1970-2005 (average per year) NED -4.0 GER -3.9 (21,650
73 WildcatYXU : Whatever it works, governments love to claim that it's the regulation and enforcement at work. At the same time, they love to forget improvements in
74 Post contains images BMI727 : I'd be curious to see insurance company data on actual accident rates and how those differ from fatality stats. People have probably never driven fas
75 ME AVN FAN : people in the 1970ies drove far faster than they do today. To take Switzerland as an example. You in the late 70ies early 80ies could drive from Zür
76 KiwiRob : In defence of NZ we have many and frequent passing lanes, in Norway you do not which encourages impatient drivers to pass in not ideal places.
77 B777LRF : True, but if you look closer you'll notice the rev counter ain't reading 3000, it's more like 3400. I've taken it to the limiter only once, and that
78 Post contains links and images B777LRF : Even found a picture from earlier that day to prove it
79 Kent350787 : Australia also has many. UNtil 2007, those in the Northern Territory were deristricted, the better ones now limited to 130kmh, although there are prp
80 idealstandard : I've driven extensively on German Autobahns, and generally speaking, the drivers are more alert, aware of the road conditions, and follow road instruc
81 max999 : Many people on here have stated that US drivers are worse drivers than those in Europe. I don't necessary believe that there aren't bad drivers in Eur
82 Viscount724 : The number of road deaths per year in Switzerland is lower now than in the 1950s, although the number of vehicles on the road has increased several h
83 ME AVN FAN : I had driven with manual transmission cars before I had the chance to drive an "automatic" car. In case of the automatic car, you have up to 20 secon
84 Dreadnought : Whaaaaat???? You know, you aren't supposed to look at the clutch pedal and shift knob when you use it... And in those years, absolutely nothing else
85 Klaus : That is one of the silliest ideas I've ever heard. If a manual transmission actually occupies 1/3 of your attention, you are not fit for the road, yo
86 Viscount724 : Sorry but that doesn't make sense. After you have used a manual transmission for a while it becomes second nature and you don't have to concentrate o
87 ME AVN FAN : While this of course is correct and you do the operation automatically and without thinking, it still takes some time. Driving with an automatic car
88 TW : I feel that it is safer to drive a manual than an automatic, and that for several reasons. First of all I tend to pay more attention, and you are much
89 ME AVN FAN : - You when driving an automatic of course should resists those tempatations - you really should be aware of what speed you are driving - when driving
90 Post contains images BEG2IAH : Wish I saw this topic earlier. There are several problems with American drivers and roads in general: 1. Most drivers (90%+) think they somehow inheri
91 Viscount724 : That's the problem. You can become so relaxed when you don't have to pay any attention to what gear you're in that you lose track of what's happening
92 ME AVN FAN : Just for comparison. Drive from New Orleans to Houston/TX or from Houston to Austin. And then drive from Zürich to Geneva. On arrival after the vast
93 WildcatYXU : Even if there is a difference between driver attitude in the USA and in Switzerland, I doubt it's caused by different transmissions used. You don't h
94 Klaus : Looks a lot more as if you yourself just feel lost in european traffic in european cars. I've never found driving here particularly stressful by itse
95 Post contains images L0VE2FLY : I noticed that while driving in NSW & QLD. My relative who lived in Australia used a wind-operated whistle that goes behind the grille, as you dr
96 Post contains images KiwiRob : I see you missed the 1st April bit
97 sccutler : The way drivers "over here" drive is one of the principal reasons I do a large proportion of my intercity travel by Bonanza, instead of BMW. I never,
98 TW : True, and also due to the fact that automatic transmission cost an extra 700-2000 euros. However, some of the newer transmissions actually get a lowe
99 Flighty : This is huge. Maintenance matters far more than make/model of the automobile. Yeah, make/model is important. But maintenance is more important. Suspe
100 Post contains images Klaus : Indeed. My sensitivity for that kind of thing is sort of seasonal and not at its peak right now...!
101 BEG2IAH : Roads yes, drivers heck no. And I'm talking about driving skills (passing, turning, driving through very lanes or roads, backing up, parking...).
102 Post contains links and images NAV20 : There've been several references on here to cruise control. I've never owned a car with it. But I've used it in rental cars in the USA, the UK, Europe
103 Flighty : I think we are OK. We do allow the stupid to drive, yes. But, we also probably have the globe's most experienced, highest mileage drivers. You realiz
104 Post contains images BMI727 : That may be true elsewhere, but I doubt it in the US, thanks to the ridiculous 55 mph speed limit from the oil crisis. Not to mention the increase in
105 Flighty : Yeah, I mean teenagers aren't great, but the really dangerous people I see appear to be... how can I say this... felons, driving as if they don't fea
106 Post contains images L0VE2FLY : Automatic cars are always more expensive but I think the convenience is well worth it, especially if you're keeping the car for a while. In which par
107 BEG2IAH : Why all these question marks, exclamation marks, and drama? I live(d) in Texas and Illinois. In the US I also drove in California, Massachusetts, New
108 Siren : Ah, speed - this is something near and dear to me, as an American. I regularly ignore the speed limits and drive upwards of 80-90 mph on the freeways
109 Post contains images BEG2IAH : I'm glad there are more people who drive like me. People always say that I drive too fast, but I do that only when I can and using radar detector. On
110 Aesma : About automatic transmissions it's true that one of the reasons people give to not buy them here is fuel consumption, but the real reason lies in the
111 Post contains images Siren : I'd probably fall into this category. I commit a felony every single day, if we adhere to the strict letter of California law. Over 100 miles per hou
112 Post contains images BEG2IAH : I'm still using some simple model of Cobra. It saved me so many times that I got emotionally attached to it. Laser jammers are also illegal in Illino
113 Post contains links petertenthije : That does not always apply either. Even "world cars" are tuned for local requirements and tasts. Take for instance the VW Jetta: in Europe they come
114 Post contains images Dreadnought : recently you have a bunch of people saying that "Oh, automatics are just as economical as manuals, they're much better than before". And some fuel ra
115 BMI727 : Actually some modern transmissions dispense with the torque converter entirely, like the DSG and PDK transmissions. In the early 2000s when manumatic
116 BEG2IAH : The only sad reason I drive automatic now is that I often get stuck in miles of clogged traffic and shifting gears would just kill my left foot and m
117 BMI727 : Some of them do. Some make you really plant your foot and then count to ten to get it to downshift or annoying hunt between gears, while others work
118 WildcatYXU : That's when you shift up. Why don't you post some down shift times? I was doing service calls with a manual car in the GTA. No problem whatsoever.
119 BMI727 : When you're talking about track performance it doesn't matter as much since you're almost certainly braking anyway. You aren't looking for uninterrup
120 Flighty : Always the best plan. My grandfather taught me a good lesson - use the brakes as little as possible. Brakes wick off perfectly good energy. Energy yo
121 Post contains images L0VE2FLY : Because... . You guys are lucky, a device that's made solely to break the law is easily accessible and legal! Driving at a reasonable speed not only
122 idealstandard : Back onto this topic - I was in Germany over the weekend and was given a nice rental car upgrade to the current model BMW 330d Sport. That car was ser
123 Post contains images NAV20 : Kinda hoping (if not praying ) that you meant 'kph,' idealstandard? Interesting point, LOVE2FLY. Heven't come across 'adaptive cruise control'? Does
124 Post contains images idealstandard : If you want it in KPH then it's a nice cruise of 200-210 in the outside lane, and I had it up to 250KPH a few times just to make sure it could do it
125 L0VE2FLY : Are you serious?! 3.0 L. engine achieving 38 MPG at such high speeds. That's exactly how it works. I think it should be mandatory in all new cars, it
126 BEG2IAH : I've seen numerous examples where people who are driving "at reasonable speeds", i.e., slowly and screwing up miles of traffic behind them, ended up
127 idealstandard : Yeah, i'd be surprised if the 330D doesn't sell well in the USA. Brilliant performance, decent engine note and such good economy. Remember, I quote U
128 kiwirob : So how does Porsche do it, the PDK equipped 911 is both faster and more fuel efficient than the 7-speed manual 911?
129 sccutler : The police establishment assure us that the use of traffic radar and lidar is *not* for the purpose of raising revenue, but rather, is to help increa
130 Post contains images BEG2IAH : Thank you for this great idea. Now I have an even better excuse for using a detector. Ever since I started using detector I pay more attention to the
131 sccutler : You should not need an "excuse" to use a radar detector; it is not an illegal device (and before anyone squawks, I am aware of the Commonwealth of Vi
132 Post contains images L0VE2FLY : Who said driving below the speed limit is reasonable?! . 90% of drivers here in California drive 75+ mph on the freeway, despite the speed limit bein
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