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Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits  
User currently offlineL0VE2FLY From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 1636 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 9517 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, 3014 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 9527 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, 6166 posts, RR: 29
Reply 2, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 9513 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, 8965 posts, RR: 24
Reply 3, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 9511 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, 2381 posts, RR: 14
Reply 4, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 9506 times:
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FORUM MODERATOR

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, 1023 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 9496 times:

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


Carpe Pices
User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2659 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 9479 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 onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15833 posts, RR: 27
Reply 7, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 9420 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, 6166 posts, RR: 29
Reply 8, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 9419 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, 6054 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 9415 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 11 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 9384 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 11 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 9381 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 11 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 9344 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, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 9312 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 11 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 9304 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, 8965 posts, RR: 24
Reply 15, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 9290 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: 31
Reply 16, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 9269 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, 3014 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 9244 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, 8481 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 9235 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 11 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 9206 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, 5549 posts, RR: 13
Reply 20, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 9197 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 11 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 9152 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, 1467 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 9097 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 11 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 9076 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, 1021 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 9024 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.

User currently onlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3771 posts, RR: 29
Reply 25, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 9213 times:

Quoting SuperCaravelle (Reply 14):
ctually, the state of Bremen already introduced a general speed limit (but luckily only a ~70km stretch of Autobahn is situated there).

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 stretches. Personally, the unlimited stretches give a more relaxed drivers experience.

I think the whole speed limit discussion goes way too much about numbers.

What is speeding? IMHO, driving 250 km/h (150 mph) on an empty motorway at 4 am saturday morning is no speeding. Driving 130 during a strong summer rain with nil visibility or 80 in fog IS speeding.

No speed limit replaces good judgement of a car drivers. Knowing that you always have to look for faster cars is better than driving in the netherlands, where people are asleep and seem to change lanes without ever looking back (no offense intended for our dutch A.netters).

After all, please keep the "Freie Fahrt für freie Bürger" forever!


User currently offlinena From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10817 posts, RR: 9
Reply 26, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 9172 times:

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 25):
What is speeding? IMHO, driving 250 km/h (150 mph) on an empty motorway at 4 am saturday morning is no speeding. Driving 130 during a strong summer rain with nil visibility or 80 in fog IS speeding.

Exactly. Speeding in the sense of reckless driving depends on the condition alone, not the mathematical speed. Its not the Ferrari blasting away with 250 kmh on an empty motorway on an early sunny sunday morning, its the typical goddamn 5-series BMW or Audi A6 going 120 kmh with less than 10 m distance behind you in the rain, flashing the headlamps on a road limited to 100.


User currently onlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7839 posts, RR: 5
Reply 27, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 9224 times:

Quoting SuperCaravelle (Reply 14):
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)

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, according to TomTom I hit 197kph and had a top speed run in my wifes V70 2.4D managed 212 on the TomTom before the wife saw the speed panicked and made me slow down. Both run were on traffic free autobahns in summer.

I find travelling on Norway's undivided 80kph limited highways far more dangerous.


User currently offlinerlwynn From Germany, joined Dec 2000, 1107 posts, RR: 1
Reply 28, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 9227 times:

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 could not go this fast if you drove it off a cliff.




I can drive faster than you
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8965 posts, RR: 24
Reply 29, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 9200 times:

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 24):
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.
Quoting rlwynn (Reply 28):

How about morons playing with their cell phones to take a picture of their dashboard at 260 kph?



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlinerlwynn From Germany, joined Dec 2000, 1107 posts, RR: 1
Reply 30, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 9179 times:

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 is the car I was chasing. As you can see it is a two lane autobahn. I would never go that fast unless it was all clear.
Even when thare are cars or trucks in the slow lane you have to slow down. At least I do.



[Edited 2013-01-05 10:21:54]

[Edited 2013-01-05 10:42:30]


I can drive faster than you
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8965 posts, RR: 24
Reply 31, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks ago) and read 9134 times:

Quoting rlwynn (Reply 30):
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.

Fair enough - my apologies. But such pics are quite common, and I am sure many were taken by the driver.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8481 posts, RR: 9
Reply 32, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks ago) and read 9113 times:

Quoting Geezer (Reply 19):
Yeah, right, Ken.....musta been all George Bush's fault ! EVERYTHING is the Conservative's fault ! Cause Ken said so !

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 etc. Too much government in our daily lives I guess. Now bald tires abound - but we have less government in our lives.  

BTW, as I've noted before I actually voted for both Bush's - but only the first time.


User currently offlineracko From Germany, joined Nov 2001, 4857 posts, RR: 20
Reply 33, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 9067 times:

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 6):
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.

Actually very long very straight stretches are bad for safety, as they make you tired and less focused.


User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5478 posts, RR: 31
Reply 34, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 9011 times:

Germany was a beautiful country to drive in. The autobahn, the country roads...fantastic.


What the...?
User currently onlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7839 posts, RR: 5
Reply 35, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8974 times:

Quoting racko (Reply 33):

Actually very long very straight stretches are bad for safety, as they make you tired and less focused.

Try driving the Nullarbor Plain Road 146.6 km of dead straight road, not fun.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20352 posts, RR: 59
Reply 36, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 8923 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.

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 tapping the brakes when you have the temerity to flash at them that they should move over. Besides, that car going 55MPH in the middle lane is asking to cause a rear-ender.

In Michigan, freeways have a minimum speed of 45 MPH, which I think is a good thing. But it should be 50.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 10):
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.

I'll add one other thing: drive PREDICTABLY. In other words, they signal before turning or changing lanes, they don't suddenly stop in the middle of an intersection (or anywhere, really) because they don't know where they're going, they are willing to miss a turn so as to avoid suddenly darting across four lanes of traffic, etc. Erratic driving is not only annoying; it's dangerous.


User currently offlinefalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6166 posts, RR: 29
Reply 37, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 8752 times:
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Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 29):
How about morons playing with their cell phones to take a picture of their dashboard at 260 kph?
Quoting rlwynn (Reply 30):
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

The picture I posted of the 190 km/h speedometer was taken by me, the passenger, while my friend was driving.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 36):
In Michigan, freeways have a minimum speed of 45 MPH

I think Missouri is the same.



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4180 posts, RR: 2
Reply 38, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 8739 times:
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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 potholes and eliminate risky left lane exists that are built solely to save on construction costs;
-develop a national minimum driving instruction standard that is a little thicker and more exhaustive than the thin booklets some states have;
-make it an offense to use the left lane while faster traffic uses the right lane;
-set up minimum standards for driving instructors;
-require road tests that actually take place on roads, with real traffic, and include a stint on a highway
-double the gasoline fuel tax to finance all that

Everyone is in favor of improved road safety, but somehow the support drops significantly once they realize it costs money and Junior may not be able to get his driver's license at 16, or ever...

Oh, and while we're at it, can we add a 0 to the fine for running a red light, or make it a function of GVW, like $0.25 per pound? I am tired of having to look left on green to make sure a soccer mom in a GMC Suburban doesn't think making practice on time is more important than stopping on red!

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 36):
they don't suddenly stop in the middle of an intersection (or anywhere, really)

Try the highway! Thank God I don't see that every day, but my neighborhood has several left-lane exits (another dangerous idea) that are poorly marked and it regularly happens that someone on the right or middle lane will slow to a crawl, blocking everyone behind while waiting for a hole to make their exit just in time!



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineGeezer From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 1479 posts, RR: 2
Reply 39, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 8665 times:

[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 anticipating the (potentially reckless) actions of the other drivers, driving very fast is still elevating your risk, however.

I agree with all of that; I would also add........why is everyone in such a big hurry ? For many years, every single day when I got out of bed, I knew I had to be anywhere from 300 to 500, even 550 moles "down the road" before I could go back to bed; that gives you a LOT of reason to want to drive as fast as possible. Now that I'm retired and no longer have that to put up with, I hate to drive fast; on the Interstate highways, I set my CC on 60, maybe 65, stay in the right lane, and anyone desiring to go faster has "permission" (and full cooperation if needed) to use the left lane an "knock yourself out"! ( Just don't try to make ME go "fast" just because YOU want to !


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.

It's about the way I look at it; Plus, as noted above.......I don't like to drive fast; 30 years ago when I was married to my first wife, we drove to Arizona from Ohio a lot; I used to drive on two lane roads at least 80% of the way there; I love to "sight see", to stop and poke around when I feel like it, and I'm very seldom in a hurry; so the "rush, rush, rush of the Interstate Highways is very stressful to me, especially when I'm not in a hurry, which is almost all the time nowadays.


[quote=DocLightning,reply=36]I'll add one other thing: drive PREDICTABLY. In other words, they signal before turning or changing lanes, they don't suddenly stop in the middle of an intersection (or anywhere, really) because they don't know where they're going, they are willing to miss a turn so as to avoid suddenly darting across four lanes of traffic, etc. Erratic driving is not only annoying; it's dangerous.

See ? I knew there had to be SOMETHING that we agreed on !



Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
User currently offlineRedd From Poland, joined Jan 2013, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 40, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 8670 times:

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 you cross the border from Poland are civilized, have lane control and know how to drive. I was born and grew up in Canada, and have lived in the US in many different places.

I can say that although the drivers in Poland are bad, in North America they are just terrible. In Germany, no speed limit is civilized, and you get many and I mean many portions of the autobahn that is slowed down due to speed limits, and everyone follows the limits including those that were just speeding by you at 200+ km/h. I think it all comes down to driver training.

Speed limits and the lack of driver training kill people, growing up in Canada, having hundreds of kilometers of open straight highway driving 120km/h or less is what is dangerous.


User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8965 posts, RR: 24
Reply 41, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 8674 times:

Quoting Redd (Reply 40):
Hey, new member so be gentle,


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 between Eastern Poland and Western Poland. Western Poland was more civilized and orderly (I suppose the german influence - Germany used to extend quite a ways into present day Poland), whereas eastern Poland was a lot more like Russia.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineRedd From Poland, joined Jan 2013, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 42, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 8583 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 41):
Welcome to hell...

Lol, glad to be here  
Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 41):
Eastern Poland and Western Poland

I've spent some time driving around Poland and you're right about that, also a very clear social & economic difference from east to west, parts of the east are still fairly poor compared to the west.


User currently offlineB777LRF From Luxembourg, joined Nov 2008, 1467 posts, RR: 3
Reply 43, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 8561 times:

Well, since we've opened Pandora's box showing off high-speed jaunts on the 'Bahn, let me add to the pile as well:

http://i48.tinypic.com/autgtf.jpg

My BMW 530d on very warm summers day, on the A61 Northbound. Picture taken by the shotgun rider (before anyone kicks off). Do note the rev counter; that's the power of diesel. FYI, at 3000 rpm it's doing 205 kmh indicated.



From receips and radials over straight pipes to big fans - been there, done that, got the hearing defects to prove
User currently onlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7839 posts, RR: 5
Reply 44, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 8546 times:

Quoting Redd (Reply 42):
I've spent some time driving around Poland and you're right about that,

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 Germany a few years ago, wasn't much fun.

The worst place I've ever been driven in is Ukraine, drivers there suck, you really do take your life into your hands on Ukranian roads.


User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5478 posts, RR: 31
Reply 45, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 8401 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 44):
The worst place I've ever been driven in is Ukraine, drivers there suck, you really do take your life into your hands on Ukranian roads.

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 someone won't drive it. As well, a manhole cover or grate is worth more in scrap metal than the average wage so huge holes in the road are common...and unmarked.



What the...?
User currently onlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7839 posts, RR: 5
Reply 46, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 8399 times:

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 43):
at 3000 rpm it's doing 205 kmh indicated

Look again it's closer to an indicated 230kph.


User currently offlineGeezer From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 1479 posts, RR: 2
Reply 47, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 8390 times:

It's a damned good thing I don't live in Germany ! I wouldn't 15 minutes on that racetrack !

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 24):
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.

That's exactly what I was talking about when In said that many of the drivers in the U.S. are terrible.
I have no idea if they are the world's worst or not, but I sure wouldn't want to drive anyplace where they were worse !

Charley



Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15833 posts, RR: 27
Reply 48, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 8384 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 18):
You aren't going to see police or highway patrols turning their back on speeders.

We'd be better off if they did and let rural roads go unlimited.

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 24):
Eating & Texting while driving: same thing. That might add to the equation.

German engineers found Americans' complaints about lack of cupholders amusing. Supposedly Porsche USA's people in Atlanta started sending Big Gulp cups and the like back to Stuttgart with the message to make sure future cars can accommodate them.

Of course, since it's Porsche, they'll have the model with the cupholder and then the more expensive version where the cupholder is optional.

Quoting falstaff (Reply 37):
I think Missouri is the same.

It quickly becomes the maximum when it even looks like raining.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineplanewasted From Sweden, joined Jan 2008, 540 posts, RR: 0
Reply 49, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 8351 times:

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 driving in Germany. The margins are pretty small compared to here. And it can also be seen in the statistics.

User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8766 posts, RR: 42
Reply 50, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 8269 times:

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 way the Americans make drivers disregard the law. 55 mph speed limits on ample, controlled-access highways in perfect driving conditions (light traffic, bone-dry tarmac and CAVOK) just beg to be disobeyed. The problem is that "fifteen above the limit", which seemed to be the general consensus, gets carried over to e.g. much smaller roads in the countryside. Some people tailgated me while I was doing 35 to 40 through sleepy little villages, speed limit 35 - and that, in my book, is definitely not OK.

Add to that improper signage such as forgotten warning signs for road works and a million other things that would be rectified if the people in charge could be bothered and the US turns into a land of confusion for drivers... which is one reason why I'm glad that my rentals always include LDWs.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 47):
It's a damned good thing I don't live in Germany ! I wouldn't 15 minutes on that racetrack !

Well, the first thing you've got to do if you want to drive on German highways is stop thinking of them as racetracks. I do like cruising at 160 km/h and I can be comfortable driving at 200, but excitement has nothing to do with that. I just happen to like the workload at that kind of speed, which consists mostly of thinking ahead of the other drivers.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2659 posts, RR: 5
Reply 51, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 8254 times:

Quoting aloges (Reply 50):
55 mph speed limits on ample, controlled-access highways in perfect driving conditions (light traffic, bone-dry tarmac and CAVOK) just beg to be disobeyed.



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 it's safety.

Quoting aloges (Reply 50):
The problem is that "fifteen above the limit", which seemed to be the general consensus, gets carried over to e.g. much smaller roads in the countryside. Some people tailgated me while I was doing 35 to 40 through sleepy little villages, speed limit 35 - and that, in my book, is definitely not OK.



That's one of the things I still don't understand, even after 12 years in Canada. People generally speed within city limits more than on the motorways. On the motorways they don't slow down in construction zones.

Quoting aloges (Reply 50):
I do like cruising at 160 km/h and I can be comfortable driving at 200, but excitement has nothing to do with that.

I consider driving on wide, open roads boring, regardless of speed. I love driving fast on narrow, winding roads. The problem is that it's way too dangerous. So no fun for me.


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26815 posts, RR: 75
Reply 52, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 8094 times:

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 are not just talking about one road, which a shocking number of Americans think.

3) A large part of the Interstate Highway System is in even better condition than Germany's equivalent

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 1):

Only parts of the autobahn have no speed limits.

The majority of the Autobahnen have no speed limit.

Quoting falstaff (Reply 2):
The word autobahn and highway are pretty much interchangable.

Pretty much? Autobahn = Auto Track. The Autobahnen we are talking about are really interchangable with freeway.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 3):
Lane discipline is rigorously enforced in Europe (not just in Germany).

Totally agree.

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

Yep

Quoting lh526 (Reply 4):
Plus, to quote a master: "Speed hasn't killed anybody, suddently becoming stationary is what gets you"

Excellent quote.

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.

Well, the 401's de facto limit is 120 km/h, and I've been passed by people between Oshawa and the Thousand Islands Bridge when driving 150, but the point is made. You could delimit the entire stretch from Windsor to Milton and be safe. Perhaps a couple intermittent limits around the 403 and Highway 8.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 10):
the roads are "better"

They really aren't.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 10):
the drivers are more "vigilant"

That is absolutely true.

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

So are ours here in Southern California, don't you think Tony?

Quoting aerobalance (Reply 11):
- Autos are in better condition

That is probably true.

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

Marginally, but I think the culture of lane discipline is even more important.

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 16):

The Autobaun is not nearly as extensive or the free for all many think

The Autobahnen are actually very extensive and more than half delimited.

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 25):
What is speeding? IMHO, driving 250 km/h (150 mph) on an empty motorway at 4 am saturday morning is no speeding. Driving 130 during a strong summer rain with nil visibility or 80 in fog IS speeding.

Exactly.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 36):
I am *so* tired of drivers driving below the speed limit in the left lane and then tapping the brakes when you have the temerity to flash at them that they should move over

Totally.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 36):
In Michigan, freeways have a minimum speed of 45 MPH, which I think is a good thing. But it should be 50.

It should be 60. Even 65.

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 51):
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 it's safety.

Absolutely.

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 51):
On the motorways they don't slow down in construction zones.

I have a problem where they post construction zones, but no one is actually there.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 53, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 8068 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 52):
Quoting lh526 (Reply 4):
About the half of all german Autobahns are without any speed limit... and that's exactly what improves the safety!

Yep

No!

Safety is improved because all the necessary preconditions are enforced which make it possible to then raise the speed limit.

Only eliminating the speed limit and keeping everything else unchanged is a certain recipe for disaster.


User currently offlineL0VE2FLY From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 1636 posts, RR: 0
Reply 54, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 7989 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.
Quoting N1120A (Reply 52):
Pretty much? Autobahn = Auto Track. The Autobahnen we are talking about are really interchangable with freeway.

I know, but people almost everywhere associate the word "Autobahn" with highways without speed limit.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 3):
Lane discipline is rigorously enforced in Europe (not just in Germany).

   I noticed that on my visits to Europe.

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.

The governments & municipalities can make money with toll highways that have a generous or no speed limit, like this one in Texas...

http://news.yahoo.com/texas-opens-fi...ph-highway-u-trucks-225512377.html

Quote:
State transportation officials hope that the speed limit will be an incentive for motorists to pay the roughly $12 toll to drive on the 90-mile (145-km) road.

They can also make money by introducing a minimum speed limit and enforcing it as rigorously as the max limit.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 13):
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.

I heard from friends living there that getting a driver license in Europe is very expensive and tough.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 15):
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.

  

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 25):
I think the whole speed limit discussion goes way too much about numbers.

What is speeding? IMHO, driving 250 km/h (150 mph) on an empty motorway at 4 am saturday morning is no speeding. Driving 130 during a strong summer rain with nil visibility or 80 in fog IS speeding.

A variable speed limit is a good idea but I'm not aware of any country using such system.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 27):
I find travelling on Norway's undivided 80kph limited highways far more dangerous.

Just like in New Zealand! Although the speed limit in New Zealand is a generous 100 km/h! I wonder how many other developed countries have undivided highways?

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 36):
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 tapping the brakes when you have the temerity to flash at them that they should move over. Besides, that car going 55MPH in the middle lane is asking to cause a rear-ender.

In Michigan, freeways have a minimum speed of 45 MPH, which I think is a good thing. But it should be 50.

Last month I drove past an old lady doing 55 mph on the left lane of a 4 lane highway!!      

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 38):
-require road tests that actually take place on roads, with real traffic, and include a stint on a highway

A stint on a busy highway, I might add. I know several licensed drivers who are scared to drive on the highway!

Quoting Geezer (Reply 47):
I have no idea if they are the world's worst or not

The world's worst?! There's room for improvement, but US drivers are definitely not the world's worst, not even close.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 48):
German engineers found Americans' complaints about lack of cupholders amusing. Supposedly Porsche USA's people in Atlanta started sending Big Gulp cups and the like back to Stuttgart with the message to make sure future cars can accommodate them.

Where's Mayor Bloomberg when you need him. 


User currently onlinepetertenthije From Netherlands, joined Jul 2001, 3394 posts, RR: 12
Reply 55, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 7963 times:

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 54):
A variable speed limit is a good idea but I'm not aware of any country using such system.

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. This is controlled through a network of 14.196 matrix signs (2011 figure) spread over roughly 2340 KM of motorway. Where available these signs are posted at roughly 400 or 500 metres interval. All motorways in urban areas as well as corridors with high lorry traffic have these.

The Netherlands are unique in Europe in that these signs always display the maximum speed, even though many of them do not have a red ring (disadvantage of being the first to implement them is that the older ones only show one colour at a time). The system displays the speed but can also display simple pictures to indicate a crash site, road works, arrows and crosses. More complicated designs are also available that show the traffic situation in the region and which motorways to avoid.

The system works fully automatically. At regular intervals there are traffic counters build into the road. If these counters notice the average speeds drops, then the maximum speed is lowered on that section of the road including a few KM leading up to the traffic jam. The amount of accidents where people crash into traffic jams has dropped significantly. A bonus is that many of these signs are also used to open the hard shoulder for traffic. Of course this is only done if there is no broken down car, accident or roadworks on the hard shoulder.

In addition to the matrix signs there are also regular signs on some motorways that limit the speed to 80 or 100 between 7h and 19h while the default 130 applies outside those hours.

In Germany they use the same set-up. In addition they also have many signs that have a speed limit that applies only when the road is wet. I know of only one such similar sign in the Netherlands.



Attamottamotta!
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14139 posts, RR: 63
Reply 56, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 7961 times:

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 54):
Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 25):
I think the whole speed limit discussion goes way too much about numbers.

What is speeding? IMHO, driving 250 km/h (150 mph) on an empty motorway at 4 am saturday morning is no speeding. Driving 130 during a strong summer rain with nil visibility or 80 in fog IS speeding.

A variable speed limit is a good idea but I'm not aware of any country using such system.

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 conditions are adverse you´ll have to slow down and you will be held liable if you cause an accident by not adapting to the existing conditions (weather, ice or snow, fog, traffic etc.).
E.g. if your visibility is less than 50 meters due to fog you´ll have to slow down to 50 km/h or less (easy to judge, since the black and white marker posts for the road edge are spaced 50 meters apart on straight roads), even if the posted speed limit is 100 km/h (on country highways outside towns or villages) or higher.

Jan


User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2659 posts, RR: 5
Reply 57, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 7949 times:

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 54):
The governments & municipalities can make money with toll highways that have a generous or no speed limit, like this one in Texas...

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 Ontario. I wonder why they didn't do something similar at the Expensive Toll Route.

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 54):
A variable speed limit is a good idea but I'm not aware of any country using such system.

Actually, it's used in several European countries including Germany.

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 54):
They can also make money by introducing a minimum speed limit and enforcing it as rigorously as the max limit.

That would be a very tough sell for the government.

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 54):

The world's worst?! There's room for improvement, but US drivers are definitely not the world's worst, not even close.

  


User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8965 posts, RR: 24
Reply 58, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 7941 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 56):
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 conditions are adverse you´ll have to slow down and you will be held liable if you cause an accident by not adapting to the existing conditions (weather, ice or snow, fog, traffic etc.).
E.g. if your visibility is less than 50 meters due to fog you´ll have to slow down to 50 km/h or less (easy to judge, since the black and white marker posts for the road edge are spaced 50 meters apart on straight roads), even if the posted speed limit is 100 km/h (on country highways outside towns or villages) or higher.



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 my twenties enjoyed the high speeds. But every once and a while I would get into a real pea-soup fog - the type that you can't see a car in front of you, even with his rear hi-intensity fog light, more than 50 meters away (Northern Europe really knows how to do fog - most Americans have no idea).

As a rule, I immediately take the first exit off the autobahn when that happens, because you will slow down in the fog to meet the 2 second rule in the right lane, and you will get passed in the left lane by cars still going 200 kmh or more. Absolutely insane - they are clearly driving beyond any hope of avoiding a slower car. The first time that happened to me in Germany, it scared me right off the road - I went to the next exit on the hard shoulder, and later that day I heard of a huge 100+ car crash on the Autobahn near Munich - just ahead of where I was where I bailed.

You Germans are nuts!

[Edited 2013-01-11 17:54:07]


Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 59, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 7926 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 58):
You Germans are nuts!

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 still something I've never, ever witnessed myself.


User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8965 posts, RR: 24
Reply 60, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 7924 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 59):
Driving 200 in such conditions is still something I've never, ever witnessed myself.

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 fact I was a little nuts back then. But fog gives me the willies, far more than ice or snow on the roads (actually I rather enjoy those)



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14139 posts, RR: 63
Reply 61, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 7928 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 58):
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 my twenties enjoyed the high speeds. But every once and a while I would get into a real pea-soup fog - the type that you can't see a car in front of you, even with his rear hi-intensity fog light, more than 50 meters away (Northern Europe really knows how to do fog - most Americans have no idea).

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 conditions I slow down to 50 or less. Last December this saved my @rrse. I was driving to work through the hills in the morning after snow at night. The roads had not yet been cleared. Trying to come to a stop at a red traffic liked I skidded for about 50 meters until I came to a stop right at the stop line. Fortunately I was slow enough for the reduced friction to stop me and I didn´t start to spin.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 58):
As a rule, I immediately take the first exit off the autobahn when that happens, because you will slow down in the fog to meet the 2 second rule in the right lane, and you will get passed in the left lane by cars still going 200 kmh or more. Absolutely insane - they are clearly driving beyond any hope of avoiding a slower car. The first time that happened to me in Germany, it scared me right off the road - I went to the next exit on the hard shoulder, and later that day I heard of a huge 100+ car crash on the Autobahn near Munich - just ahead of where I was where I bailed.

When I still commuted from Mönchengladbach to CGN every day (90 km each direction), I always drove down on the A61 (a main Autobahn, which connects the Dutch North Sea ports to the Rhine-Main region and dconnects further to Autobahns leading to Switzerland and Italy as well as to the Czech Republic and the Balkans, so it is always full of heavy long distance trucks and in many places it only has two lanes in each direction).
One night the weather was really bad, a mi of fof and snow. The road was slippery as hell and you couldn´t see further than 50 meters. The normal cars and most German registered trucks slowed down to a crawl in right lane, but in the left lane you had 40 ton trucks barreling through at 90 km/h (10 km/h more than their maximum permitted speed). Most of them were Dutch.

Jan


User currently offlineKent350787 From Australia, joined May 2008, 980 posts, RR: 0
Reply 62, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 7894 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 35):
Try driving the Nullarbor Plain Road 146.6 km of dead straight road, not fun.

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 Northern Territory still has some 130kmh sections, having introduced a highway speed limit in 2007.


User currently offlineSuperCaravelle From Netherlands, joined Jan 2012, 259 posts, RR: 0
Reply 63, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 7866 times:

Quoting petertenthije (Reply 55):
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. This is controlled through a network of 14.196 matrix signs (2011 figure) spread over roughly 2340 KM of motorway. Where available these signs are posted at roughly 400 or 500 metres interval. All motorways in urban areas as well as corridors with high lorry traffic have these.

The Netherlands are unique in Europe in that these signs always display the maximum speed, even though many of them do not have a red ring (disadvantage of being the first to implement them is that the older ones only show one colour at a time). The system displays the speed but can also display simple pictures to indicate a crash site, road works, arrows and crosses. More complicated designs are also available that show the traffic situation in the region and which motorways to avoid.

The system works fully automatically. At regular intervals there are traffic counters build into the road. If these counters notice the average speeds drops, then the maximum speed is lowered on that section of the road including a few KM leading up to the traffic jam. The amount of accidents where people crash into traffic jams has dropped significantly. A bonus is that many of these signs are also used to open the hard shoulder for traffic. Of course this is only done if there is no broken down car, accident or roadworks on the hard shoulder.

In addition to the matrix signs there are also regular signs on some motorways that limit the speed to 80 or 100 between 7h and 19h while the default 130 applies outside those hours.

In Germany they use the same set-up. In addition they also have many signs that have a speed limit that applies only when the road is wet. I know of only one such similar sign in the Netherlands.

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 places where they are always on, usually in 80km/h zones.

They are also ridiculous, as the speed limit they post is enforceable. So when there is a traffic jam and they show the max limit is 50km/h, the traffic jam will never ease when everyone is abiding the law. Only by going faster than the limit, at the risk of getting a fine (which in practice never happens), the signs will begin to show higher max speeds and a traffic jam can disappear. Long live Dutch law.

[Edited 2013-01-12 03:30:21]

User currently offlineL0VE2FLY From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 1636 posts, RR: 0
Reply 64, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 7634 times:

Quoting petertenthije (Reply 55):
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. This is controlled through a network of 14.196 matrix signs (2011 figure) spread over roughly 2340 KM of motorway. Where available these signs are posted at roughly 400 or 500 metres interval. All motorways in urban areas as well as corridors with high lorry traffic have these.

The Netherlands are unique in Europe in that these signs always display the maximum speed, even though many of them do not have a red ring (disadvantage of being the first to implement them is that the older ones only show one colour at a time). The system displays the speed but can also display simple pictures to indicate a crash site, road works, arrows and crosses. More complicated designs are also available that show the traffic situation in the region and which motorways to avoid.

The system works fully automatically. At regular intervals there are traffic counters build into the road. If these counters notice the average speeds drops, then the maximum speed is lowered on that section of the road including a few KM leading up to the traffic jam. The amount of accidents where people crash into traffic jams has dropped significantly. A bonus is that many of these signs are also used to open the hard shoulder for traffic. Of course this is only done if there is no broken down car, accident or roadworks on the hard shoulder.

In addition to the matrix signs there are also regular signs on some motorways that limit the speed to 80 or 100 between 7h and 19h while the default 130 applies outside those hours.

In Germany they use the same set-up. In addition they also have many signs that have a speed limit that applies only when the road is wet. I know of only one such similar sign in the Netherlands.


Good system to improve road safety and boost the revenue of the local governments.

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 57):
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 Ontario. I wonder why they didn't do something similar at the Expensive Toll Route.


It's actually an expensive toll road as stated in the article, you pay $12 toll to drive on the 90 mile (145 km) road.

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 57):

That would be a very tough sell for the government.


It shouldn't be, it'll make the roads safer and create more revenue for the government, driving too slow on the highway is just as dangerous as speeding.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 58):
As a rule, I immediately take the first exit off the autobahn when that happens, because you will slow down in the fog to meet the 2 second rule in the right lane, and you will get passed in the left lane by cars still going 200 kmh or more. Absolutely insane - they are clearly driving beyond any hope of avoiding a slower car.


200 km/h in dense fog?!  Wow! Only a drunk, suicidal or totally insane driver would do that.

Quoting Kent350787 (Reply 62):
At least the Northern Territory still has some 130kmh sections, having introduced a highway speed limit in 2007.


Not too many kangaroos roaming around?! 


User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2659 posts, RR: 5
Reply 65, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 7621 times:

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 64):
It's actually an expensive toll road as stated in the article, you pay $12 toll to drive on the 90 mile (145 km) road.



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.


User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 66, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 7580 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 52):
The majority of the Autobahnen have no speed limit.

-
ALL AUTOBAHNEN in Switzerland have the federal speed limit of 120 kilometers. Also ALL AUTOBAHNEN in Austria have clear speed limits. If you look at the density of AUTOBAHNEN in Switzerland and Austria you realise that the AUTOBAHNEN-NETZ in the two countries is considerable

Quoting N1120A (Reply 52):
Pretty much? Autobahn = Auto Track. The Autobahnen we are talking about are really interchangable with freeway

-
I "interchange" the Autobahnen with "Autoroutes" in France and "Motorways" in Britain and "Autostrade" in italy

Quoting N1120A (Reply 52):
Lane discipline is rigorously enforced in Europe (not just in Germany).

Totally agree.

NO, I do NOT. In most countries in Europe, people who overtake have to give enough space to people on the right before turning back onto the right lane again. Good is that most Germans apply common sense above German federal law which is a criminal offense against any common sense.


User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2659 posts, RR: 5
Reply 67, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 7507 times:

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 66):
ALL AUTOBAHNEN in Switzerland have the federal speed limit of 120 kilometers.



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 surprising.

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 66):
NO, I do NOT. In most countries in Europe, people who overtake have to give enough space to people on the right before turning back onto the right lane again. Good is that most Germans apply common sense above German federal law which is a criminal offense against any common sense.



Actually, giving enough space while overtaking is a part of lane discipline.


User currently offlineKent350787 From Australia, joined May 2008, 980 posts, RR: 0
Reply 68, posted (1 year 11 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 7370 times:

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 64):
Not too many kangaroos roaming around?!

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.

Hit a roo at most speeds and you've got problems, lucky I haven't done it, just some near misses.

Roos can even be a problem with motor racing here http://youtu.be/G1wqTwE5WsI


User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 69, posted (1 year 11 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 7351 times:

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 67):
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 surprising.

-
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 just as indicated. Roads outside cities/towns and villages generally have 80 unless indicated otherwise (up and down). Roads inside "settled areas" generally have 50, unless indicated to be 20 or 25 or 30 or 40 or 60 or 70. Austria "sounds" more liberal but with its Imperial Austrian-Hungarian traditions, the final result is comparable to Switzerland.

But, just a piece of warning in regard to Germany. The German Autobahnen have lots of rules and regulations and limitations, which defacto means that the number of routes without a speed limit is limited.

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 67):
NO, I do NOT. In most countries in Europe, people who overtake have to give enough space to people on the right before turning back onto the right lane again. Good is that most Germans apply common sense above German federal law which is a criminal offense against any common sense.

Actually, giving enough space while overtaking is a part of lane discipline.

Part of "lane discipline" maybe, but NOT part of German federal law. Many Germans are quite eager to defend the federal law demanding that you after having overtaken get back to the right lane within a few meters ahead of the "victim". THIS is why there is a law in Switzerland saying that you only can get back after you see the "victim" in your mirror, and not before.


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26815 posts, RR: 75
Reply 70, posted (1 year 11 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 7348 times:

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 57):
I wonder why they didn't do something similar at the Expensive Toll Route.

Remember that a private company fleeced the province in a moment of privatization stupidity over the 407. Also, the regular 400-series highways are actually maintained to a higher standard - they just get more traffic.

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 66):
ALL AUTOBAHNEN in Switzerland have the federal speed limit of 120 kilometers. Also ALL AUTOBAHNEN in Austria have clear speed limits.

Yes yes. I meant those in Germany.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 71, posted (1 year 11 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 7346 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 70):
ALL AUTOBAHNEN in Switzerland have the federal speed limit of 120 kilometers. Also ALL AUTOBAHNEN in Austria have clear speed limits.

Yes yes. I meant those in Germany.

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 South (south of the Taunus line) have more limits than those in the North.

Interesting is to look at France, which has, in comparison to Germany and Switzerland, serious distances but generally only minimal traffic (exceptions are the Périphérique around inner-Paris and the Autoroute-du-Sol from Paris to Marseille). France usually has a 130 km limit, except "semi-highways" which are 110 kms. And it works astonishingly well, if you take into account the "law-adherence" of the French people !


User currently offlineiakobos From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 3316 posts, RR: 34
Reply 72, posted (1 year 11 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 7292 times:

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 in '70, roughly 4,500 today)
SWI -3.9
DEN -3.4
AUT -3.4
FRA -3.2
SWE -3.1
BEL -2.9 (3,070 in '70, roughly 700 today, "target" in 2020: 350)

The only countries which show an increase in fatalities are Poland (+1.3 on average) and Greece (+1.2)

On a global scale, the number of road fatalities per 1 billion vehicles/km
The worst, Togo (14,050), Ethiopia (11,667), Liberia (10,967), Niger (9,425) and the rest of Africa
The "best" Ireland (4.2), Sweden (5.1), Luxemburg (5.4), Switzerland (5.6), UK (5.7), Australia (5.8)

Germany is at 7.2, France 7.7, Japan 6.8, Canada 8.2 and USA 8.5....Ukraine around 155

It appears, in Europe at least, that the trend (towards a decrease) has very significantly accelerated since about 2002, with -7/-8 % per year being quite common.
Something must work.


User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2659 posts, RR: 5
Reply 73, posted (1 year 11 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 7252 times:

Quoting iakobos (Reply 72):
It appears, in Europe at least, that the trend (towards a decrease) has very significantly accelerated since about 2002, with -7/-8 % per year being quite common.
Something must work.

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 road quality and vehicle safety.


User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15833 posts, RR: 27
Reply 74, posted (1 year 11 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 7242 times:

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 73):
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 road quality and vehicle safety.

   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 faster than they do today, and pointing to speed limits and enforcement as reasons for increased safety is probably questionable at best.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 75, posted (1 year 11 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 7220 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 74):
People have probably never driven faster than they do today,

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 Zürich to Geneva within less than 3 hours (between 2 hrs 30min and 2hrs 40min) with an average car, and this in spite to having been forced to use the old routing via Gruyeres and Montreux. You could quite legally drive with 100 km/h on normal roads outside cities instead of only 80 now and with 60km inside towns instead of only 50 now.

The main difference however clearly is that the roads were heavily improved, and the lighting got improved and that the car safety was improved


User currently onlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7839 posts, RR: 5
Reply 76, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 7191 times:

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 54):
Just like in New Zealand! Although the speed limit in New Zealand is a generous 100 km/h! I wonder how many other developed countries have undivided highways?

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.


User currently offlineB777LRF From Luxembourg, joined Nov 2008, 1467 posts, RR: 3
Reply 77, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 7095 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 46):
Look again it's closer to an indicated 230kph.

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 was around 3600 rpm.



From receips and radials over straight pipes to big fans - been there, done that, got the hearing defects to prove
User currently offlineB777LRF From Luxembourg, joined Nov 2008, 1467 posts, RR: 3
Reply 78, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 7078 times:

Even found a picture from earlier that day to prove it  http://i45.tinypic.com/mrybvb.jpg


From receips and radials over straight pipes to big fans - been there, done that, got the hearing defects to prove
User currently offlineKent350787 From Australia, joined May 2008, 980 posts, RR: 0
Reply 79, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 7026 times:

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 54):
Just like in New Zealand! Although the speed limit in New Zealand is a generous 100 km/h! I wonder how many other developed countries have undivided highways?

Australia also has many. UNtil 2007, those in the Northern Territory were deristricted, the better ones now limited to 130kmh, although there are prposal to increase this.

100 or 110 elswhere in Oz, including divided roads with a safe design speed of 130kmh.


User currently offlineidealstandard From France, joined Apr 2009, 410 posts, RR: 0
Reply 80, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 6942 times:

I've driven extensively on German Autobahns, and generally speaking, the drivers are more alert, aware of the road conditions, and follow road instructions and temporary speed limits by the book.

I don't often drive *really* fast on the autobahns - 140mph here and there, but the sweet spot for my car is about 95mph-100mph, traffic permitting, which gives a good rate of travel, and also fuel economy as well.


User currently offlinemax999 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 1086 posts, RR: 0
Reply 81, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 6910 times:

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 Europe, I just think many of them are kept off the road over there.

In the US, with our lack of of robust public transportation systems, a much higher percentage of the population is solely reliant on private cars for transport. I believe that in order to accommodate our lack of public transit infrastructure, the US has lower standards for drivers and the condition of private cars. People have to get around somehow! It's easier in the US to get a driver's license (lower fees, less difficult exams, less drivers classes, etc). And cars conditions aren't held to the same level of inspection.

So in the end, US roads are a little less safe and our highways will continue to have speed limits.



All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal, or fattening.
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 26005 posts, RR: 22
Reply 82, posted (1 year 11 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 6843 times:

Quoting iakobos (Reply 72):
It appears, in Europe at least, that the trend (towards a decrease) has very significantly accelerated since about 2002, with -7/-8 % per year being quite common.
Something must work.

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 hundred percent. I think the number of deaths last year was something like 320, less than one a day, for a population of about 8 million. And Switzerland has one of the highest car ownership rates in Europe.

I expect the biggest reason is much safer vehicles and all their safety equipment which make far more accidents survivable than 20 or 30 (or 50) years ago.

When I first got my driver's license in Canada at age 16 in the early 1960s even seat belts weren't standard equipment and few cars had them. If you hit anything solid at more than very low speed you were likely to be thrown through the windshield, or be impaled by the car's structure as it collapsed like an accordion.

The minimum driving age in all except a few countries in Europe is 18 (17 in the UK and maybe a few others) which is another factor that improves safety in my opinion. Requirements for driver training and licensing are also stricter in most of Europe. It's not unusual for people to fail their driving test a few times before they finally pass.

After living in Europe for 16 years after over 30 years of driving in Canada, another thing that I'm convinced makes driving safer in Europe is the fact that only a small minority of cars have automatic transmissions (I would guess it's similar to the percentage of cars in North America with manual transmissions). With a manual you have to pay more attention to your driving than with an automatic. I hadn't driven a stick shift since I first learned to drive when I moved to Europe, and now I would be reluctant to go back to an automatic.


User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 83, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 6685 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 82):
With a manual you have to pay more attention to your driving than with an automatic. I hadn't driven a stick shift since I first learned to drive when I moved to Europe, and now I would be reluctant to go back to an automatic.

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 seconds per minute more to concentrate onto the actual traffic. It in fact is obvious that the increase of automatic-cars in Switzerland clearly improved the safety. So that, out of safety considerations, manual transmission-cars should become prohibited by 1st Apri 2013


User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8965 posts, RR: 24
Reply 84, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 6673 times:

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 83):
In case of the automatic car, you have up to 20 seconds per minute more to concentrate onto the actual traffic.

Whaaaaat????

You know, you aren't supposed to look at the clutch pedal and shift knob when you use it...

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 83):
It in fact is obvious that the increase of automatic-cars in Switzerland clearly improved the safety.

And in those years, absolutely nothing else has changed? car structures, airbags, ABS etc haven't changed at all, so you can attribute the decline in deaths to automatics?

I tend to agree - driving a manual forces one to keep their mind on driving.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 85, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 6669 times:

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 83):
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 seconds per minute more to concentrate onto the actual traffic. It in fact is obvious that the increase of automatic-cars in Switzerland clearly improved the safety. So that, out of safety considerations, manual transmission-cars should become prohibited by 1st Apri 2013

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, you don't belong on the driver seat and you should repeat your basic driving training until it becomes a "fully automatic" background task in your brain which does not require any conscious effort at all.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 26005 posts, RR: 22
Reply 86, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 6555 times:

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 83):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 82):
With a manual you have to pay more attention to your driving than with an automatic. I hadn't driven a stick shift since I first learned to drive when I moved to Europe, and now I would be reluctant to go back to an automatic.

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 seconds per minute more to concentrate onto the actual traffic. It in fact is obvious that the increase of automatic-cars in Switzerland clearly improved the safety. So that, out of safety considerations, manual transmission-cars should become prohibited by 1st Apri 2013

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 on doing anything. But you have to look further ahead and consider more carefully what other vehicles are doing so you can decide what gear you need. I find it makes you more alert and aware of what's going on around you.


User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 87, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 6544 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 86):
you don't have to concentrate on doing

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 allows a far more relaxed style of driving. If driving an automatic car reduces your attention you should consider to stop driving a car. As it should increase your attention and alertness


User currently offlineTW From Germany, joined Jul 2011, 65 posts, RR: 0
Reply 88, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 6531 times:

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 less tempted to use your cell phone or ipod or light a cigarette because you use both your hands to drive. I am also much more aware of what speed I am driving and tend to drive more slowly. Finally, in some case I think that braking through downshifting is safer than braking with the brake pedal because the people behind you wont slam on their brakes.

I don't know how driving an automatic is supposed to increase your alertness. In most cases if you make tasks simpler you won't concentrate harder than you need to.


User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 89, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 6532 times:

Quoting TW (Reply 88):
I tend to pay more attention, and you are much less tempted to use your cell phone or ipod or light a cigarette because you use both your hands to drive

-
You when driving an automatic of course should resists those tempatations

Quoting TW (Reply 88):
I am also much more aware of what speed I am driving and tend to drive more slowly

-
you really should be aware of what speed you are driving

Quoting TW (Reply 88):
braking through downshifting is safer than braking with the brake pedal because the people behind you wont slam on their brakes.

-
when driving an automatic, you should look farther ahead as you otherwise have to use the pedal far more often


User currently offlineBEG2IAH From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 980 posts, RR: 18
Reply 90, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 6459 times:
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Wish I saw this topic earlier.  

There are several problems with American drivers and roads in general:

1. Most drivers (90%+) think they somehow inherited the left lane and would not move to the right even if their life depended on it.
2. Too many drivers never, ever, signal change of lane. They do not realize they endanger themselves more than anyone else.
3. People do not know how to pass another car. Example: they drive 75 mph, then approach a long 18-wheeler and slow down to 18-wheeler's speed + 0.5 mph. Then they drive, and sweat, and drive, and freak out about how dangerous and huge that 18-wheeler is for 5 minutes, and once they "pass", they accelerate to 75 mph again. This is one of the greater mysteries I still need to understand.
4. Speed limits are mostly set so that local communities have source of revenue. It is not safer if you are driving at snail's speed. It just makes you sleepy and prone to using cell phone, eating, reading a book, shaving, brushing teeth, flossing, knitting, applying makeup (all personally witnessed on the road).
5. Zero common sense from an average driver. If there was a sign with a 100 mph posted speed, I would be willing to bet that the majority would try to drive at 100 mph because the law says you should drive 100 mph. Likewise, if it says 40 mph in the middle of friggin' nowhere, that's the speed. I love those conservative ones that drive 36 mph, just to be on a safe side.
6. Everyone is simply forced to drive in the US because there is no real public transportation. Most of the current drivers should never be passengers, let alone drivers.
7. It's super easy to pass the tests. When I moved from Europe, I thought I was on candid camera when the machine said I passed. During the practical test, the biggest thing they almost failed me for was that I was supposed to turn my head and my upper body when I made turns like I was avoiding comets and not checking for other traffic. If you don't learn how to drive the first time, some habits stay with you until you die. For example, I live for a moment to see one American make a turn that's actually a nicely drawn curve (like in an imaginary circle) and not a side of an octagon (since most start say a left turn by sharp wheel turn, then straighten, then one more sharp turn, often followed by a scraped wheel on the median).
8. If there is an accident on the opposite side of the road, no worries, you will hit the snag. Everyone will want to see what's going on.
9. Even defensive driving courses are not created to teach you anything, but to make your life miserable.
10. If a highway had 10 lanes, there will be 10 cars driving next to one another so you can never pass them.
11. There is always a genius in his late 50s, early 60s, who will slow you down on purpose because he wants to teach you what's the way to behave in his universe (of diminishing testosterone, which he doesn't realize).
12. Instead of using mirrors and checking dead angle by a slight turn of their head, people tend to turn around 180 degrees to check if there is any car behind them before changing the lane. All this while there is a mile long stretch of cars waiting to pass. And the best part is even if the road in front of these geniuses is empty, then will step on the brake before they change the lane. Why?!?!?
13. Please ban mustangs. I have yet to see a good driver in one of these.
14. I can continue, but should probably stop. I already feel road rage is building just from thinking about the above.  

Breathe in, breathe out.... Will things ever change in the US? No. It will all get even worse. This is why I usually drive late at night, use a legal radar detector, and walk to work. Saves nerves big time... until I move back to Europe.



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User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 26005 posts, RR: 22
Reply 91, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6375 times:

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 87):
Driving with an automatic car allows a far more relaxed style of driving.

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 around you and can almost fall asleep. You can't do that with a manual which increases you're alertness level.

Another issue is that a much higher percentage of cars in North America also have cruise control which further reduces your involvement in the driving process.


User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 92, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 6272 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 91):
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 around you and can almost fall asleep. You can't do that with a manual which increases you're alertness level.

Another issue is that a much higher percentage of cars in North America also have cruise control which further reduces your involvement in the driving process.

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 distances in LA/TX you still are in good shape, but driving from Zürcih to Geneva is exhausting. One of the reason is that those lazy lousy US drivers even after hours behave tolarantly and relaxed while people on the CH-A-1 behave as if crazy . And one of the reasons is that the USsers drive with "automatic transmission cars"


User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2659 posts, RR: 5
Reply 93, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6223 times:

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 92):
One of the reason is that those lazy lousy US drivers even after hours behave tolarantly and relaxed while people on the CH-A-1 behave as if crazy . And one of the reasons is that the USsers drive with "automatic transmission cars"



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 have to shift if you're just cruising. I caught myself several times that I kept the Altima in sixth gear all the way from London to outskirts of Toronto. Some 160 km. Zero difference compared to an automatic.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 94, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 6218 times:

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 92):
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 distances in LA/TX you still are in good shape, but driving from Zürcih to Geneva is exhausting. One of the reason is that those lazy lousy US drivers even after hours behave tolarantly and relaxed while people on the CH-A-1 behave as if crazy . And one of the reasons is that the USsers drive with "automatic transmission cars"

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 itself – it depends primarily on how you're driving, and I'm not simply referrring to your speed.


User currently offlineL0VE2FLY From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 1636 posts, RR: 0
Reply 95, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 6169 times:

Quoting Kent350787 (Reply 68):
Not too many, and dawn and dusk are the major risk times.

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 drive it makes a high pitched inaudible whistle which wards off kangaroos.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 76):
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.

I know but those passing lanes are not always there when you need them. I think no developed country should have such highways, one slow driver could cause a lot of stress to others, especially in heavy traffic, also fatal head-on collision rates are much higher on such highways.

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 87):
Driving with an automatic car allows a far more relaxed style of driving.

Driving an automatic is definitely more convenient. I think one of the reasons Europeans like manual cars is the lower fuel consumption.

Quoting TW (Reply 88):
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 less tempted to use your cell phone or ipod or light a cigarette because you use both your hands to drive. I am also much more aware of what speed I am driving and tend to drive more slowly. Finally, in some case I think that braking through downshifting is safer than braking with the brake pedal because the people behind you wont slam on their brakes.

I don't know how driving an automatic is supposed to increase your alertness. In most cases if you make tasks simpler you won't concentrate harder than you need to.

Maybe that's why those who can drive manual are perceived as better drivers, also the fact that learning to drive a manual is harder than automatic.

Quoting BEG2IAH (Reply 90):

You're obviously exaggerating, as I said in a previous reply there's room for improvement, but the US drivers and roads are much better than most countries.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 91):
Another issue is that a much higher percentage of cars in North America also have cruise control which further reduces your involvement in the driving process.

   Especially with old fashioned non-adaptive cruise control.

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 93):
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 have to shift if you're just cruising. I caught myself several times that I kept the Altima in sixth gear all the way from London to outskirts of Toronto. Some 160 km. Zero difference compared to an automatic.

   There's no difference between auto & manual when driving on the highway, unless the traffic is bumper to bumper which makes driving stressful no matter what you're driving!


User currently onlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7839 posts, RR: 5
Reply 96, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 6106 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 85):
That is one of the silliest ideas I've ever heard.

I see you missed the 1st April bit  


User currently offlinesccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5615 posts, RR: 28
Reply 97, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 6068 times:

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, and I mean never, have had anyone fail to yield right of way to me when I am in flight, nor have I had my life placed in serious jeopardy by a moron with a cell phone glued against the side of her bee-hive-hairdo'd head.



...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlineTW From Germany, joined Jul 2011, 65 posts, RR: 0
Reply 98, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 6019 times:

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 95):
Driving an automatic is definitely more convenient. I think one of the reasons Europeans like manual cars is the lower fuel consumption.

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 lower fuel consumption than the manuals. The VW transmissions seem very fuel efficient, but they cost a lot.

I had a manual car in Europe because I don't drive much in traffic and enjoy it more, but when I did get stuck in a traffic jam it was a pain.

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 92):
Just for comparison. Drive from New Orleans to Houston/TX or from Houston to Austin. And then drive from Zürich to Geneva.

I have never driven from Zurich to Geneva, but I did drive from Munich to Brussels. During those 800 km I barely ever changed gears, except for the 2 times I stopped for a drink and the few kms that it took to get on the highway in MUC and off in BRU. I also used the cruise control during that trip so I still don't get the point about manual driving being dangerous or overly tiresome


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8770 posts, RR: 3
Reply 99, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 6008 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 3):
If you have lane discipline and vehicles in relatively good shape, high speeds are not a problem.

This is huge.

Maintenance matters far more than make/model of the automobile. Yeah, make/model is important. But maintenance is more important. Suspension, cooling system, new tires, brakes count for a lot.

Car magazines usually don't test a car with worn-out brakes or a broken tie rod in the suspension. If they did, a 1984 BMW could beat a badly maintained 2004 BMW every time.

In general, Americans do not maintain their cars.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 100, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 5967 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 96):
I see you missed the 1st April bit

Indeed. My sensitivity for that kind of thing is sort of seasonal and not at its peak right now...!


User currently offlineBEG2IAH From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 980 posts, RR: 18
Reply 101, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 5945 times:
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Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 95):
US drivers and roads are much better than most countries

Roads yes, drivers heck no. And I'm talking about driving skills (passing, turning, driving through very lanes or roads, backing up, parking...).



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User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 35
Reply 102, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 5928 times:

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, and Australia. Well, I say 'used it,' but in practice I rarely turned it on. Didn't feel the need; and also disliked the feeling of not being in full control of the car - especially in any sort of traffic.

Did a bit of googling on it and found several articles that pointed to it causing more than its fair share of accidents - especially in wet or icy conditions. The best summary of the pros and cons that I found was actually the relevant Wikipedia article  :-

"Advantages and disadvantages. Some of those advantages include:

"Its usefulness for long drives (reducing driver fatigue, improving comfort by allowing positioning changes more safely) across highways and sparsely populated roads. This usually results in better fuel efficiency.[citation needed]
Some drivers use it to avoid unconsciously violating speed limits. A driver who otherwise tends to unconsciously increase speed over the course of a highway journey may avoid a speeding ticket. Such drivers should note, however, that a cruise control may go over its setting on a downhill which is steep enough to accelerate with an idling engine.
However, cruise control can also lead to accidents due to several factors, such as:

"The lack of need to maintain constant pedal pressure, which can help lead to accidents caused by highway hypnosis or incapacitated drivers; future systems may include a dead man's switch to avoid this.[citation needed]
When used during inclement weather or while driving on wet or snow- and/or ice-covered roads, the vehicle could go into a skid (although this may be somewhat mitigated by cars equipped with Electronic Stability Control). Stepping on the brake - such as to disengage the cruise control - could result in the driver losing control of the vehicle."


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruise_control

The article put me in mind of my nephews years ago (living in Manhattan Beach, California, when I used to visit) who astonished me by turning it on even on the shortest trips - not just on the freeways, but even on trips down to the shops or the beach. When I asked them about it their replies made it clear that they viewed it (on the advice of their driving instructors a year or two previously) as some sort of 'insurance' which helped them avoid speeding fines..........  

Makes me think that there should perhaps be some investigation into the proportion of vehicles involved in accidents (particularly highway/freeway accidents) that had cruise control engaged as the emergency occurred/developed. My guess is that the number might well considerably exceed the local average on a given road or highway.

Anyone know of any research that's been carried out on the subject?

[Edited 2013-02-03 06:42:52]


"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8770 posts, RR: 3
Reply 103, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 5891 times:

Quoting BEG2IAH (Reply 101):
Roads yes, drivers heck no. And I'm talking about driving skills (passing, turning, driving through very lanes or roads, backing up, parking...).

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 realize it matters when you see adult new drivers (perhaps immigrants) in their first year of driving. Most of the bad driving I see is by these "new drivers." We do have left-lane sitters, our special American problem, and that is a something you just work around.

The best driving I see is by CDL holders and big trucks. Also, corvette owners, who tend to be 55 year old, expert drivers.


User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15833 posts, RR: 27
Reply 104, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5882 times:

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 75):
people in the 1970ies drove far faster than they do today.

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 freeway construction means that although peak speeds are not higher or perhaps a bit lower than before, I'd guess that more trips are accomplished at higher speeds since what would have been a trip via surface streets or rural roads years ago is not done on a freeway.



Quoting Klaus (Reply 85):
That is one of the silliest ideas I've ever heard.

  

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 95):
I think one of the reasons Europeans like manual cars is the lower fuel consumption.

That is beginning to change. Up until the mid to late 2000s you could count on a manual transmission car being a couple tenths quicker to sixty and a few MPG better than its automatic counterpart but in recent years that trend has begun to reverse itself.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 103):
Most of the bad driving I see is by these "new drivers." We do have left-lane sitters, our special American problem, and that is a something you just work around.

I think it's the opposite. The most annoying drivers on the road aren't teens but rather the combination of old farts who drive too slowly and middle aged people who have gained decades of bad habits, sit in the left lane, and do everything behind the wheel but drive.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8770 posts, RR: 3
Reply 105, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 5853 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 104):
The most annoying drivers on the road aren't teens but rather the combination of old farts who drive too slowly and middle aged people who have gained decades of bad habits, sit in the left lane, and do everything behind the wheel but drive.

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 fear the police at all. If you have no insurance, and no license, and are a career criminal, why not just drive 120 MPH and weave in traffic... who knows, you might get a fun hospital stay or even end your miserable life right then and there, pleasing everybody. Seems to be what is going on.


User currently offlineL0VE2FLY From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 1636 posts, RR: 0
Reply 106, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5541 times:

Quoting TW (Reply 98):
True, and also due to the fact that automatic transmission cost an extra 700-2000 euros.

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.



Quoting BEG2IAH (Reply 101):
Roads yes, drivers heck no. And I'm talking about driving skills (passing, turning, driving through very lanes or roads, backing up, parking...).

In which part of the country do you usually drive?! And in how many countries have you driven?!!



Quoting NAV20 (Reply 102):
Anyone know of any research that's been carried out on the subject?

That would be interesting to check out. All new cars should have adaptive cruise control, it may be more expensive but it certainly would make the roads much safer.



Quoting Flighty (Reply 103):
You realize it matters when you see adult new drivers (perhaps immigrants) in their first year of driving. Most of the bad driving I see is by these "new drivers."

I know a couple of those "new drivers" who are too scared to drive on the freeway, one of them has a brand new car!   


User currently offlineBEG2IAH From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 980 posts, RR: 18
Reply 107, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 5516 times:
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Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 106):
In which part of the country do you usually drive?! And in how many countries have you driven?!!

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 Hampshire, Missouri, Louisiana, Indiana, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, Arizona, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Washington, Oregon.

Outside of the US, I drove in Canada, Greece, Hungary, Spain, France, Germany, Austria, and all of ex Yugoslavia.

American drivers spend more time than anyone behind the wheel and still have subpar skills.



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User currently offlineSiren From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 345 posts, RR: 11
Reply 108, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 5486 times:

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 here in California - I never get cited by the police for these infractions because I am vigilant about maintaining my awareness for my surroundings, and use electronic countermeasures to aid this awareness. American drivers regularly dawdle around in the left lanes at and below the posted limits, despite signs posted that say "Slower Traffic Keep Right" - this forces me to pass them on the right. It's not the safest thing to do, but necessary if I'm to maintain the sorts of speeds I want to.

I have over 200,000 miles safely logged (I did have a rather major accident in a Porsche 911 on a mountain road back when I was 19, and this taught me a very valuable lesson, but it was the right lesson); my driving habits are safe. I use my turn signals, I maintain safe following distances, and strict lane discipline - when possible. If the right lane is unoccupied, I use it.

Speed limits are a joke. Am I aggressive? Absolutely. I have to be when there's some driver dawdling around at 57 mph in the fast lane, or who has just changed lanes in front of my E55, coming at them at 30 MPH faster then they're moving - this will illicit a quick lane change on my part, a fast pass on the right, and a quick cut in front of them while I continue on my merry way...


User currently offlineBEG2IAH From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 980 posts, RR: 18
Reply 109, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 5484 times:
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Quoting Siren (Reply 108):
Speed limits are a joke.

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. One of my friends kept complaining until we hit the road for 650 miles. When we got back he hasn't said a word about how fast I drive.

If signalling and left lane rule can somehow be enforced in the US so many things would be better on our roads.



FAA killed the purpose of my old signature: Use of approved electronic devices is now permitted.
User currently offlineAesma From Reunion, joined Nov 2009, 6942 posts, RR: 12
Reply 110, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 5463 times:

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 gonads I believe. I don't think automatic transmissions can really improve fuel consumption though, it's just that nowadays you're comparing an 8 speed automatic to a 6 speed manual. Fact is there is no meaningful difference now, and automatics are gaining momentum, albeit slowly (especially in this economy where more and more people are buying low cost cars where automatic isn't even an option, like my father with his new Dacia Sandero).

Personally I like driving and I avoid traffic so I don't plan to give up on manuals.

Also the Switzerland example is probably not a good one, since Switzerland has far more high end cars than average, and those are much more likely to have automatic transmissions, even "sporty" ones.

Quoting sccutler (Reply 97):
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.

You make me think of an uncle of mine. Now in his 60s he has sold his Bonanza though, concerned about his flying abilities. I wonder if that was really wise, considering he's driving between 160 and 200Km/h on northern Italy and southern France roads aboard his Porsche Cayenne (a vehicle that make you feel very safe and comfortable even on twisty potholes filled mountain highways).



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineSiren From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 345 posts, RR: 11
Reply 111, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5436 times:

Quoting Flighty (Reply 105):
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 fear the police at all. If you have no insurance, and no license, and are a career criminal, why not just drive 120 MPH and weave in traffic... who knows, you might get a fun hospital stay or even end your miserable life right then and there, pleasing everybody. Seems to be what is going on.

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 hour (160 km/h), automatic felony reckless driving. I bang into 100 mph at least several times a day. I'm utterly unafraid of the police. I go blasting by traffic at 30 miles per hour (50 km/h) above the 'limit', and I will pass drivers in the right lane who fail to yield to the Mercedes E55 or CLK63 (depends on the day of the week) rapidly growing larger in their rearview mirror, and will flip on my turn signal, and weave around them. There will be no hospital stays for me - I had quite a long one as a result of some bad judgement a long time ago, and rest assured, my judgement when I do drive aggressively is very sound. And in the minuscule chance I do miscalculate, I carry 1 million dollars in liability insurance.

Quoting BEG2IAH (Reply 109):
People always say that I drive too fast, but I do that only when I can and using radar detector.

Which model detector? Both my cars have a hard wired Valentine 1, and also have a Shifter ZR4 Laser Jammer. Technically the laser jammers are 'illegal' in California, though I take issue with any regulation or law which claims to regulate the visible light spectrum.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 103):
The best driving I see is by CDL holders and big trucks. Also, corvette owners, who tend to be 55 year old, expert drivers.

I can certainly echo this - especially trucks! The guys driving big 18-wheelers are some of the most patient, courteous, experienced, and capable drivers on the planet.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 99):
In general, Americans do not maintain their cars.

This is an absolutely true statement, and it's something which I acknowledge is a good reason for speed limits being in place on American roads. Let's face it - most Americans are idiots, and allowing most Americans to drive their unmaintained cars at an unlimited speed would be very dangerous. This is something that sets Germany's roads apart from American roads. In an emergency situation, a German driver can be assured that their car will be able to steer and brake properly - as designed to do so.

Another very important thing to note - many cars sold for the United States market are simply not built for high speeds - they are designed with speed limits in mind. A perfect example would be a Buick Park Avenue - 2005 model, even in tip top condition, cannot safely be operated at high speeds. It's a flaccid front wheel drive boat designed for geriatric pensioners, with utterly inadequate steering, suspension tuning, and braking to allow it to be operated safely above 90-100 mph. The same is true for many if not most American pick-up trucks and SUVs. Cars that are made for the world market and sold in Europe don't suffer the same affliction... they have to be 'world' products that can be operated safely in all areas they're sold in.

Of course, I'm an american who does maintain my cars. They will pass the most stringent inspection the most anal retentive German can throw at it. 
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.

Over a long trip, 130-140 km/h is exactly the kind of speed I prefer to run - and it's the economy sweet spot for my car. The 'average speed' display is a bit skewed by having made a fuel stop and a separate dinner stop, but the fuel economy isn't bad for a 5.5 liter V8 with a fairly aggressive driver, is it? American cars tend to see the best fuel economy at much lower speeds - they're tuned for peak efficiency around 50-55 mph (90 km/h)....



User currently offlineBEG2IAH From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 980 posts, RR: 18
Reply 112, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5359 times:
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Quoting Siren (Reply 111):
Which model detector? Both my cars have a hard wired Valentine 1, and also have a Shifter ZR4 Laser Jammer. Technically the laser jammers are 'illegal' in California, though I take issue with any regulation or law which claims to regulate the visible light spectrum.

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 Illinois, but I will do a bit more research into it. Our mayor invested a lot of money into interceptors, so they can be behind you and you wouldn't know.



FAA killed the purpose of my old signature: Use of approved electronic devices is now permitted.
User currently onlinepetertenthije From Netherlands, joined Jul 2001, 3394 posts, RR: 12
Reply 113, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5349 times:

Quoting Siren (Reply 111):
Cars that are made for the world market and sold in Europe don't suffer the same affliction... they have to be 'world' products that can be operated safely in all areas they're sold in.

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 with multilink rear axle, electric power steering and the basic engines are tuned for efficiency. The US version has torsion-beam rear axle, hydraulic power steering and simpler/-cheaper engines that are less fuel efficient. The interior of the European version is also more luxurious such as soft-touch dashboard and (more) advanced navigation. Of course all that cost cutting on the US version does mean it is a lot cheaper then even the most basic version in Europe.

http://blog.caranddriver.com/europea...-s-2011-vw-jettas-the-differences/



Attamottamotta!
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8965 posts, RR: 24
Reply 114, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5346 times:

Quoting TW (Reply 98):
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 lower fuel consumption than the manuals. The VW transmissions seem very fuel efficient, but they cost a lot.

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 ratings do indeed indicate that the automatic version of a car will have better mileage than the manual. How can this be?

Simple. They cheat. After some investigation, I found that the automatic has longer gearing, either in the gearbox itself or at the differential. Supposedly the shorter gearing is chosen for manuals because "they want to be sporty so we'll give them shorter ratios so that it accelerates faster". But then you are at 500 rpm faster in all regimes, and there goes your economy.

Very simple - while modern automatics are leaps and bounds better than the slushboxes of the 60s and 70s, they still require power simply to operate the mechanism. In the old days a torque converter could use 15-20% of the car's power, just to operate. They may have gotten it more efficient, but you can't beat zero power loss through a manual transmission.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 102):
I've never owned a car with it. But I've used it in rental cars in the USA, the UK, Europe, and Australia. Well, I say 'used it,' but in practice I rarely turned it on. Didn't feel the need; and also disliked the feeling of not being in full control of the car - especially in any sort of traffic.

I used to drive like a maniac. Seriously. I habitually took long road trips where (I'm not kidding) I had less than 1 hour between fuel stops, because I was going pretty much flat out every chance I had. Full throttle driving drains your tank in a hurry. Never used cruise control.

Anyway, I got married, had kids, and spent time unemployed (in that order). I realized that I could not afford speeding tickets, and gas wasn't that cheap either, so I forced myself to slow down - which is really hard - I'm always looking down at the speedo and find myself going way too fast again. I quickly found out that if you use cruise control and peg it to 5-10% over the speed limit (whatever speed you are comfortable that cops won't bother with you), then you get an added bonus - you never get so stressed out squinting at the horizon, looking for tell-tale brake lights or a cruiser in the bushes. Don't worry about it.

No I'm used to it. In the US interstates, I generally am on cruise at 77 mph, 10% over. Cops don't bother with me, I'm not stressed, and I don't have to keep looking at the speedo to keep myself drifting over.

Hell, I can even mount an Ipad on the dash and watch a movie on Netflix as I drive   



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15833 posts, RR: 27
Reply 115, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 5322 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 114):
They may have gotten it more efficient, but you can't beat zero power loss through a manual transmission.

Actually some modern transmissions dispense with the torque converter entirely, like the DSG and PDK transmissions.

In the early 2000s when manumatic transmissions became widely available they came in two basic types. The first were basically automatic transmissions with torque converters that allow gears to be selected manually via the shifter or a button. This category included the Porsche Tiptronic and its Audi clones (S Tronic). The second were basically manual transmissions where the clutch and shifting mechanisms were operated electro-mechanically, such as Ferrari's F1 transmissions, Lamborghini E-Gear (aka Audi R Tronic), and BMW's SMG.

A third type, the dual-clutch gearbox, is quickly becoming the top choice for manufacturers. Audi, Porsche, BMW, and Ferrari among others are all moving quickly in this direction as it offers the best performance and economy. There is no torque converter and the entire shifting process consists entirely of disengaging one clutch and engaging the other. Once in a while it is apparently possible to flummox the electronics, in a situation where the car believes you'll want fifth but actually need to go to third, but for the most part they work well. I've seen the PDK cited more than once as the best transmission available today.

As far as economy goes, having more gears, different gearing, and optimized computer programs probably accounts for most of it. In terms of performance though, the answer is that computers can shift faster than even the best drivers. Ferrari got the shift time of their F1 Superfast gearbox down to 60 milliseconds, and that's before they started moving to dual clutch setups.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineBEG2IAH From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 980 posts, RR: 18
Reply 116, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 5316 times:
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Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 114):
They may have gotten it more efficient, but you can't beat zero power loss through a manual transmission.

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 my wallet. I feel that automatic has mind of its own whereas manual does what you ask it to do.



FAA killed the purpose of my old signature: Use of approved electronic devices is now permitted.
User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15833 posts, RR: 27
Reply 117, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 5315 times:

Quoting BEG2IAH (Reply 116):
I feel that automatic has mind of its own whereas manual does what you ask it to do.

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 well. That said, some manuals weren't especially well designed either. GM skip shift for example, although there's probably at least some truth to the story that it's a way of undermining the gas guzzler tax, which I'm totally in favor of.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2659 posts, RR: 5
Reply 118, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 5303 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 115):
Ferrari got the shift time of their F1 Superfast gearbox down to 60 milliseconds, and that's before they started moving to dual clutch setups.

That's when you shift up. Why don't you post some down shift times?

Quoting BEG2IAH (Reply 116):
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 my wallet.

I was doing service calls with a manual car in the GTA. No problem whatsoever.


User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15833 posts, RR: 27
Reply 119, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 5304 times:

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 118):
Why don't you post some down shift times?

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 uninterrupted power delivery so it isn't as big a deal. For passing on the highway any manual or manumatic is sufficiently fast for all practical purposes. As long as a driver can select a gear himself one way or another just before making a pass it should be just fine. In that situation it is the poorly designed automatics that delay downshifts that become annoying.

Furthermore, from an engineering standpoint, the transmission is not always the limiting factor in the downshift time. Often the transmission can change the gear quite quickly but must wait for the automated throttle blip to match speeds. Skipping gears in a downshift does take some time with a dual clutch transmission. First is the aforementioned issue with the throttle blip and second is that an intermediate gear on the other shaft may be needed to complete the shift while the new gear is selected or just follow the same procedure as an electrohydraulically actuated manual which doesn't take advantage of having two clutches.

[Edited 2013-02-10 18:14:37]


Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8770 posts, RR: 3
Reply 120, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 5290 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 114):
I quickly found out that if you use cruise control and peg it to 5-10% over the speed limit (whatever speed you are comfortable that cops won't bother with you), then you get an added bonus - you never get so stressed out squinting at the horizon, looking for tell-tale brake lights or a cruiser in the bushes. Don't worry about it.

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 you paid money for. Cruise control saves fuel also, unless you have a turbo car in a hilly area or something.


I try to be smooth, courteous, keep lane discipline, and get from A to B as fast as possible. Accelerate slowly, but if it gets to 90 MPH now and then, lying low in the right lane usually, so be it. It's about being safe and smooth, more than fast in my case. But I am fast!


User currently offlineL0VE2FLY From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 1636 posts, RR: 0
Reply 121, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5044 times:

Quoting BEG2IAH (Reply 107):
Why all these question marks, exclamation marks, and drama?

Because...

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 95):
You're obviously exaggerating, as I said in a previous reply there's room for improvement, but the US drivers and roads are much better than most countries.

.

Quoting Siren (Reply 111):
Quoting BEG2IAH (Reply 109):
People always say that I drive too fast, but I do that only when I can and using radar detector.
Which model detector? Both my cars have a hard wired Valentine 1, and also have a Shifter ZR4 Laser Jammer.

You guys are lucky, a device that's made solely to break the law is easily accessible and legal!

Quoting Flighty (Reply 120):
My grandfather taught me a good lesson - use the brakes as little as possible. Brakes wick off perfectly good energy. Energy you paid money for. Cruise control saves fuel also, unless you have a turbo car in a hilly area or something.

   Driving at a reasonable speed not only saves you money on gas, but also on repairs and maintenance, and could save your life.


User currently offlineidealstandard From France, joined Apr 2009, 410 posts, RR: 0
Reply 122, posted (1 year 10 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 4926 times:

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 seriously fast - 0-60 in about 6 seconds, 0-155 in about 30 seconds, which I achieved two or three times just to see it could do it. It sits beautifully at 120-130mph in the outside lane feeling solid, safe and secure - and in light traffic conditions, why not?

It even managed 38MPG considering it was in Sport+ the entire weekend, so the economy is good too!


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 35
Reply 123, posted (1 year 10 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 4900 times:

Quoting idealstandard (Reply 122):
It sits beautifully at 120-130mph in the outside lane

Kinda hoping (if not praying  ) that you meant 'kph,' idealstandard?

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Thread starter):
Quoting NAV20 (Reply 102):
Anyone know of any research that's been carried out on the subject?

That would be interesting to check out. All new cars should have adaptive cruise control, it may be more expensive but it certainly would make the roads much safer.

Interesting point, LOVE2FLY. Heven't come across 'adaptive cruise control'? Does it entail sensors that reduce speed if a car in front is too close, or whatever? If so, IMO, it's a bloody good idea?



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineidealstandard From France, joined Apr 2009, 410 posts, RR: 0
Reply 124, posted (1 year 10 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4874 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 123):
Kinda hoping (if not praying ) that you meant 'kph,' 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  

In the towns and on the limited routes I always abide by the law.


User currently offlineL0VE2FLY From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 1636 posts, RR: 0
Reply 125, posted (1 year 10 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4726 times:

Quoting idealstandard (Reply 122):
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 seriously fast - 0-60 in about 6 seconds, 0-155 in about 30 seconds, which I achieved two or three times just to see it could do it. It sits beautifully at 120-130mph in the outside lane feeling solid, safe and secure - and in light traffic conditions, why not?

It even managed 38MPG considering it was in Sport+ the entire weekend, so the economy is good too!

Are you serious?! 3.0 L. engine achieving 38 MPG at such high speeds.



Quoting NAV20 (Reply 123):
Interesting point, LOVE2FLY. Heven't come across 'adaptive cruise control'? Does it entail sensors that reduce speed if a car in front is too close, or whatever? If so, IMO, it's a bloody good idea?

That's exactly how it works. I think it should be mandatory in all new cars, it may cost more than the old system, but the safety advantage is well worth it.


User currently offlineBEG2IAH From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 980 posts, RR: 18
Reply 126, posted (1 year 10 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4711 times:
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Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 121):
Driving at a reasonable speed not only saves you money on gas, but also on repairs and maintenance, and could save your life.

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 being flattened by trucks or crashed into. Apart from horny 21 olds, I always prefer agile and fast drivers as they don't tend to eat, drink, shave, and not pay attention to the road in front and behind them.

What is unsafe if you drive 75 or 80 mph in a four-lane concrete-paved highway, straight as an arrow and smooth as silk? The problem in the US is that almost everyone is forced to drive in spite their obvious lack of skill.



FAA killed the purpose of my old signature: Use of approved electronic devices is now permitted.
User currently offlineidealstandard From France, joined Apr 2009, 410 posts, RR: 0
Reply 127, posted (1 year 10 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4659 times:

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 125):
Are you serious?! 3.0 L. engine achieving 38 MPG at such high speeds.

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 UK MPG, so in the USA it's a slightly higher figure.

I think they say combined it should do 55MPG (UK) and I can believe that, it's a very up to date car. You pay for that though.


User currently offlinekiwirob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7839 posts, RR: 5
Reply 128, posted (1 year 10 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4606 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 114):
Simple. They cheat. After some investigation, I found that the automatic has longer gearing, either in the gearbox itself or at the differential. Supposedly the shorter gearing is chosen for manuals because "they want to be sporty so we'll give them shorter ratios so that it accelerates faster". But then you are at 500 rpm faster in all regimes, and there goes your economy.

So how does Porsche do it, the PDK equipped 911 is both faster and more fuel efficient than the 7-speed manual 911?


User currently offlinesccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5615 posts, RR: 28
Reply 129, posted (1 year 10 months 23 hours ago) and read 4592 times:

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 121):

You guys are lucky, a device that's made solely to break the law is easily accessible and legal!

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 increase safety in areas where higher speeds have been determined to be dangerous. Hence, when I use my V1 to detect police radar, I am simply looking for adequate advance warning of dangerous areas.

Hey, if they can BS us on why they want to use radar, I can BS as to why I choose to be adequately warned of their presence. Oddly enough, though, it does help, because when the masses see a patrol car, all dive for brakes and create a rippling jam on moderately busy roads, so it does help to be forewarned. This is especially valuable when a patrol unit opts for the "ambush" position just after the crest of a hill.

We all know, quite well, that the timeworn expression, "speed kills," is utter buncombe; driving very fast, indeed, can be done with very good safety - it's the sudden stop that can do you in. If the traffic safety establishment actually gave a rat's backside about traffic safety, they'd be aggressively informing the public about lane discipline and right of way rules.

Quoting BEG2IAH (Reply 126):


What is unsafe if you drive 75 or 80 mph in a four-lane concrete-paved highway, straight as an arrow and smooth as silk?

Nothing at all, if the drivers adhere to basic rules. Sad thing is, they do not.



...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlineBEG2IAH From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 980 posts, RR: 18
Reply 130, posted (1 year 10 months 15 hours ago) and read 4540 times:
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Quoting sccutler (Reply 129):
Hey, if they can BS us on why they want to use radar, I can BS as to why I choose to be adequately warned of their presence. Oddly enough, though, it does help, because when the masses see a patrol car, all dive for brakes and create a rippling jam on moderately busy roads, so it does help to be forewarned. This is especially valuable when a patrol unit opts for the "ambush" position just after the crest of a hill.

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 whole road, especially including what's going on behind me as I don't want to have someone slam into my car if I need to slow down.



FAA killed the purpose of my old signature: Use of approved electronic devices is now permitted.
User currently offlinesccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5615 posts, RR: 28
Reply 131, posted (1 year 10 months 4 hours ago) and read 4502 times:

Quoting BEG2IAH (Reply 130):

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 whole road, especially including what's going on behind me as I don't want to have someone slam into my car if I need to slow down.

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 Virginia and the Kingdom - err, District - of Columbia's purported bans on detectors, but they have never been, and will never be, tested in higher courts).

Interesting thing to think about - a while back, one of the major radar threat receiver manufacturers (I do not recall which, and thinking it was Cincinnati Microwave) published research which purported to show that radar detector owners were, statistically, safer drivers. I have no idea of the methodology of the research which formed the basis of such a claim, but it is not inconceivable that drivers who desire to be aware of threats to their liberty and license would also be mindful of other threats, including threats to their safety. It might also have to do with radar detector users being (at least a bit) more likely to have financial resources to maintain their vehicles to a higher standard.

At the bottom line, of course, radar detectors are not a license to speed, and should not bet treated as such. I have found that, as I have mellowed and become (perhaps) a bit more careful, I rely less upon my electronic surveillance, and more upon common sense, in avoiding traffic citations. Common-sense measures like never cresting a hill or rounding a curve all alone at excessive speed, not setting a blazing pace while all alone, using the left lane only when passing slower traffic, things like that (many of which, not entirely coincidentally, comport nicely with safer driving practices as well).

If you use a good radar threat warning receiver, trust it when it gives a couple of lonely chirps in the clear, then stops; do not ignore its warning, but rather, moderate your speed for long enough to be reasonably certain you are past whomever it is that is radiating (and these signals can carry for several miles). It really helps to have a Valentine unit, which tells you how many sources there are and from which direction the radiating signal is coming.

Again, a reasonable effort at informing drivers about lane discipline would bear vastly greater fruit in the quest for safety than blind speed-limit enforcement, but it takes more effort and, honestly, I don't see it happening.



...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlineL0VE2FLY From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 1636 posts, RR: 0
Reply 132, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4312 times:

Quoting BEG2IAH (Reply 126):
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 being flattened by trucks or crashed into. Apart from horny 21 olds, I always prefer agile and fast drivers as they don't tend to eat, drink, shave, and not pay attention to the road in front and behind them.

Who said driving below the speed limit is reasonable?!  

.
Quoting BEG2IAH (Reply 126):
What is unsafe if you drive 75 or 80 mph in a four-lane concrete-paved highway, straight as an arrow and smooth as silk? The problem in the US is that almost everyone is forced to drive in spite their obvious lack of skill.

90% of drivers here in California drive 75+ mph on the freeway, despite the speed limit being 65.

Quoting idealstandard (Reply 127):
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 UK MPG, so in the USA it's a slightly higher figure.

I think they say combined it should do 55MPG (UK) and I can believe that, it's a very up to date car. You pay for that though.

55 UK MPG = ~46 US MPG, still impressive. Diesels are making a comeback to the US market, so there's a chance BMW and other premium German automakers will offer diesel models here. The main problem for diesels in the US is the fact that many gas stations don't have diesel fuel.


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