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  #1  
Old 03-17-2010, 09:47 AM
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US is slowly getting to Autobahn Speed

Interesting article in today's WSJ about speed limit increases in many States. Nice to see we are getting closer to the speeds of our German brethren; but I wouldn't hold my breath.

I like the reference near the end; "autobahn-burners German luxury brands"

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB2000...rsonal_journal
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  #2  
Old 03-17-2010, 10:02 AM
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They sure did not check with rual wide open states like ND and MT. Our interstate speed is 75 and our major 4 lane highways its 70 and all other highways 65. I think our average drivers on the interstate go 79-82.
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  #3  
Old 03-17-2010, 10:03 AM
d geek d geek is offline
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IMO autobahn speed limits would be down right scary here in the States for the following reasons:
  • inadequately trained drivers
  • inadequate/inconsistent vehicle inspections
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d geek View Post
IMO autobahn speed limits would be down right scary here in the States for the following reasons:
  • inadequately trained drivers
  • inadequate/inconsistent vehicle inspections
Where I live its not scary.
However most kids in ND have learned to drive from a young age, they get lots of practice because every thing is a long drive from you.
You can get your drivers license at age 14 in this state, and most kids between 12 and 14 drive on farm roads helping their parents.
Driving like most skills is a learned one. The more practice you have the better you get.
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:13 AM
d geek d geek is offline
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I'm guessing that the traffic congestion is a bit different in ND than most of the rest of the country .
Of course its easier/safer to drive fast when the conditions allow. Many folks (especially younger people) may have a hard time discerning when it is appropriate to reach autobahn velocities.
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d geek View Post
I'm guessing that the traffic congestion is a bit different in ND than most of the rest of the country .
Of course its easier/safer to drive fast when the conditions allow. Many folks (especially younger people) may have a hard time discerning when it is appropriate to reach autobahn velocities.
I believe you would be correct, wrt to congestion and conditions to allow faster speeds.
Younger people may lack the wisdom, that is not a universal truth however, but they do make up for it with faster reaction times and better reactions, provided they have been taught well and have enough practice.

Let me give you one example. I learned to drive at age 11. I had decent practice and then got my license at 17, I was not a farm kid I had no need of driving equipment to the fields.
I went into the air force and went to texas, then NM and I watched many people get into accidents or near misses I was lucky enough, and practiced in maneuvering, to avoid many.
I have only been in 2 accidents involving another vehicle and driver in 24 years of driving.

Last edited by 02 330Ci; 03-17-2010 at 10:24 AM.
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  #7  
Old 03-17-2010, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d geek View Post
IMO autobahn speed limits would be down right scary here in the States for the following reasons:
  • inadequately trained drivers
  • inadequate/inconsistent vehicle inspections
Add to that list inadequate roads...especially some here in North TX when they go through cold/hot/wet environmental cycles. Potholes galore, until TxDOT comes and patches them just to have the same holes open up when it rains again. Yes, this happens on the interstates.

On the other hand, there are some great roads around here in North TX, just not a whole lot.
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  #8  
Old 03-17-2010, 01:26 PM
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Bad roads are a fact of life, your lucky tx dot fixes them we dont get many fixes. lol Frost heaves are the worst I was driving last year and could have swore all 4 wheels caught air. I was not pleased.
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  #9  
Old 03-17-2010, 01:39 PM
Zeke77 Zeke77 is offline
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For those who haven't already followed the Sticky link to the Modern Marvels video on the Autobahn, check it out. You really get a strong appreciation of the superior design and maintenance of the highways in Germany.

That said, this design and maintenance comes at a higher price (supposedly) than we allocate to our road development--but I would gladly pay it in return for consistently maintained highway system that would allow me to drive safely at higher speeds.

Hmmm..something tells me I may have just started a discussion on possible reallocation of tax dollars...oh no, I would hate to end up on the PoliSci board :-)
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  #10  
Old 03-17-2010, 01:58 PM
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My problem is drivers cruising at 55 mph on the left lane. I have colleague calling me crazy to criticize those drivers!!
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  #11  
Old 03-17-2010, 02:05 PM
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I am with you, brother.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mason View Post
My problem is drivers cruising at 55 mph on the left lane. I have colleague calling me crazy to criticize those drivers!!
I am so with you on this one, many people swear that just because they are doing the speed limit in the left lane they have a God given right to stay there.

You almost want to refer them back to their driver manuals that state they should stay to the right unless passing. Such a "novel idea" for us in the US, but so many people are so CLUELESS!
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  #12  
Old 03-20-2010, 11:18 AM
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Living in Germany

I have about 7 months left here in Germany before I have to return to the land of LIMITED speed!

I test drove a new 335i today in Mannhein and hit 135mph on the A6 towards Frankfurt before shifting into 6th gear and getting quickly to 140 before I had to slow down. That was impressive and much much much faster than my '06 325i.

The previous posters were correct - the Germans must go through intense and serious training. The Germans are also a very lawful bunch and safe. You stay on the right lane unless passing. Period. Germans hold each other accountable. I have never seen, not even once, a police like highway patrol or anybody pulled over for speeding. That is was the cameras are for!
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  #13  
Old 03-21-2010, 04:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWChris06 View Post
I have never seen, not even once, a police like highway patrol or anybody pulled over for speeding. That is what the cameras are for!
The Autobahnpolizei do pull people over for speeding, but generally as part of the more important task of reckonizing and curbing (truly) dangerous driving. Just catching speeders takes very little skill and would be a waste of human intelligence. So they use machines and later review the measurements and photos.

Last edited by johnf; 03-21-2010 at 04:33 AM.
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  #14  
Old 03-21-2010, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by mason View Post
My problem is drivers cruising at 55 mph on the left lane. I have colleague calling me crazy to criticize those drivers!!
I have seen them drivers. They are going at the right speed. For them. I mean, if you are talking on the phone, slurping down a 48 oz Cola, and stuffing a Big Mac in your pie hole, how fast do you thnk they should go?


On a more serious note. I generally drive from NY to FL for a months stay in January. I tend to drive at 10 mph over the posted limit as long as traffic allows. I averaged a drop over 28 mpg on the last trip.
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  #15  
Old 03-21-2010, 06:49 AM
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There are major differences between German and American drivers. Germans take driving seriously and the fines for talking on a cell phone while driving are massive. Their roads are much better. Many Americans multitask and drive like sh1t in comparison. If the US adopted unlimited speed limits comparable to Germany, 30% of the US population would be wiped out within a year.
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  #16  
Old 03-21-2010, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pharding View Post
There are major differences between German and American drivers. Germans take driving seriously and the fines for talking on a cell phone while driving are massive. Their roads are much better. Many Americans multitask and drive like sh1t in comparison. If the US adopted unlimited speed limits comparable to Germany, 30% of the US population would be wiped out within a year.
Why do they drive that way, Because they were not taught nor given sufficient practice at driving correctly. I do not believe germans are just better drivers, hell if that were the case what happened to the german immigrants
I have said it before where I live kids are taught, some what better then in cities, and they practice a lot.
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  #17  
Old 03-21-2010, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02 330Ci View Post
Why do they drive that way, Because they were not taught nor given sufficient practice at driving correctly. I do not believe germans are just better drivers, hell if that were the case what happened to the german immigrants
I have said it before where I live kids are taught, some what better then in cities, and they practice a lot.
Here's my suggestiion as to why, and it is true without a doubt that the Germans (in general) are the best drivers in Europe....

Learning to drive does not just start from scratch the moment you take your first try behind the wheel. It starts as a child, when you watch how your parents drive. Watching them drive fast but carefully, with consideration for others, on and off the roads, for maybe a dozen years or so before officially learning to drive, probably breeds the same kind of behaviour.

In addition, the Germans have for decades also had the World's best equipment to drive on. You can be the best driver in the World but if you are trying to hurl along at 130 mph in a Cadillac (if they could go that fast) you just don't have the same control as doing the same speed in a BMW.
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  #18  
Old 03-22-2010, 12:51 PM
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Agree on German driving - mostly

With all the lawfulness I witness here daily, it still surprises me how many German's have cell phones planted against their ears while driving.

Another neat thing to watch is people crossing the street. 99.9% of them will NOT cross until the green walk signal. There can be no cars in sight and there they stand. There are signs at crossing that say, in effect, adults, set a good example for the children. That is a concept we need to adopt in the USA.

And one more comment on the autobahn and the fine make of german autos. I did not truly appreciate my BMW (purchased at BMW of Sterling and PDC pick-up) until several months of driving here. These cars are made to be driven fast and for long periods. It is normal to cruise at +100 mph for many many miles. I've had zero mechanical with my '06 325i. BMW's are great cars and know I know why they cost a bit more than your Ford or Chevy.
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:20 PM
pharding pharding is offline
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Germans definitely drive much better than Americans. Obviously this stems from both the home and school. Additionally there are significant cultural differences that carry over into driving. Americans are obsessed doing what ever is best for the individual at the expense of both the community and society. Germans value order and the good of the community over individual rights. They respect authority, laws, and social rules. They are much less consumption oriented than Americans. They are much self-disciplined than Americans.

Plus they have greater penalties for poor driving and automobile accidents. If you get careless on the Autobahn, crash, and get killed, they will close down the Autobahn in both directions, cart the body off to the morgue, remove the bushel basket sized pieces of the car if it is a high speed crash, sweep down the autobahn in both directions, and then give the estate of deceased a monster bill for trashing the Autobahn.
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  #20  
Old 03-22-2010, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamdog View Post
I have seen them drivers. They are going at the right speed. For them. I mean, if you are talking on the phone, slurping down a 48 oz Cola, and stuffing a Big Mac in your pie hole, how fast do you thnk they should go?


On a more serious note. I generally drive from NY to FL for a months stay in January. I tend to drive at 10 mph over the posted limit as long as traffic allows. I averaged a drop over 28 mpg on the last trip.
Honestly, it would have been fine if they yielded to faster moving cars. The problem is that they don't.

If there is a better driving lesson on that front and police crack down on reckless drivers, they would open up a lot of road.

And yes, those left lane cruisers thinks european drivers (I suppose we exclude italian drivers) are crazy; one in my next door office.
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  #21  
Old 03-23-2010, 06:13 AM
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If the US adopted unlimited speed limits comparable to Germany, 30% of the US population would be wiped out within a year.
You say that like it's a bad thing. Darwin, baby!
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  #22  
Old 03-23-2010, 06:15 AM
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They sure did not check with rual wide open states like ND and MT. Our interstate speed is 75 and our major 4 lane highways its 70 and all other highways 65. I think our average drivers on the interstate go 79-82.
When it was still the Montanabahn, I drove through a good part of the state with the speed dialed in around 85-90. Top down. Big sky indeed.
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  #23  
Old 03-23-2010, 01:16 PM
dpritchett dpritchett is offline
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I just drove from Virginia to Florida and back (vacation trip - Sebring race), and the posted 65/70 mph speed limits not withstanding, the average cruising speed on the interstates was nearer to 80-90. My average speed for the trip was 69.4 mph, but that includes pulling off the highway to eat, get gas, go to motels, etc.

Major portions of the Autobahn do have speed limits ~ 100 kph in built up areas, 120 kph in others. When I was there last summer, I watched a news report that showed the BMW the Polizei used to enforce speeds on the Autobahn ... it had enough electronics to control a space launch. Aggressive drivers (lane change, etc.) and speeding in construction zones seemed to be the most likely thing to get you stopped.

But nothing beats the feeling of hitting a open stretch of Autobahn without speed limits ....
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  #24  
Old 03-25-2010, 07:04 AM
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Well, guys, let me share a true story just to show it is actually crazier to drive in US than in Europe. I was coming back up to NYC from Maryland last night. As the traffic moving along, I was driving on the left at like 70 mph. I saw a cop car coming along with lights flashing. So I moved into the right lane to yield, just like many other drivers on the left lane. Just about the entire left lane opened up for this Mr. cop, a Toyota Sienna decided to just stop on the left lane to yield instead of move to right. That wrecked havoc. Cop had to slam on the brake and drive around the Sienna, as did many cars behind the cop car.

It was crazy!!!!!!!!!!!
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  #25  
Old 03-25-2010, 07:14 AM
Raz5219 Raz5219 is offline
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I agree with a lot of the posters that Autobahn speeds would not be safe in the states. People don't know how to drive here and have no regard for rules or discretion like they do in Germany. It's pretty much everyone for themself. And add the fact that the US prob has some of the worst made roads in the world (that's a thread in itself), it's a receipe for disaster.
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