L0VE2FLY
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Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:49 pm

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?
 
Braniff747SP
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:51 pm

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.
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falstaff
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:03 pm

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.
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Dreadnought
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:04 pm

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.
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LH526
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:06 pm

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"
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:10 pm

No shaving, putting on makeup, yakking on the phone....you get the idea.
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WildcatYXU
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:30 pm

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.
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BMI727
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:14 pm

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.
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falstaff
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:15 pm

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.

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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:20 pm

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.
 
Geezer
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:53 pm

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

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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:00 am

- 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.
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cptkrell
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:34 am

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
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Klaus
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:10 am



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]
 
SuperCaravelle
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:20 am

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.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:41 am

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.
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JoeCanuck
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:05 am

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.
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Braniff747SP
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:03 am

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.
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Ken777
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:23 am

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.
 
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:49 am

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?)

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zippyjet
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:17 am

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.
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SuperCaravelle
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:25 am

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.
 
B777LRF
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:54 pm

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  
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:27 pm

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"
 
rabenschlag
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:10 pm

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.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:23 pm

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!
 
na
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:36 pm

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.
 
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:55 pm

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.
 
rlwynn
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:07 pm

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
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:26 pm

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?
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rlwynn
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:15 pm

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]
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Dreadnought
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:01 pm

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.
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Ken777
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:34 pm

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.
 
racko
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:39 pm

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.
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:36 pm

Germany was a beautiful country to drive in. The autobahn, the country roads...fantastic.
What the...?
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:00 am

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.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:48 am

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.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
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falstaff
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:31 pm

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
 
blueflyer
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:33 pm

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!
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has no clothes.
 
Geezer
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:31 am

[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 again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
 
Redd
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:57 am

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.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:24 am

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.
Forget dogs and cats - Spay and neuter your liberals.
 
Redd
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:06 pm

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.
 
B777LRF
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:02 pm

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
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:04 pm

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.
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:52 am

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...?
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:16 am

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

Look again it's closer to an indicated 230kph.
 
Geezer
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:00 am

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 again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
 
BMI727
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:14 am

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?
 
planewasted
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RE: Autobahns Vs. Highways With Speed Limits

Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:18 am

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.

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