Among other things like Currywurst, that have people drooling at fast food joints in Germany, Germans are also famous for their immaculately kept roads, widely known as the Autobahns. Other than the common knowledge that there’s no speed limit, there are not so well known facts about these roads. What are they? We take a look.
There is a speed limit!
Contrary to popular belief, there is a speed limit on certain sections of the road, and a speed limit of 80mph is imposed. Sections close to cities see the speed drop to around 62mph despite recommendation.
A speed limit proposal that was mooted recently failed to find favour, and on major part of autobahn there’s no speed limit.
It’s illegal to run out of gas
German transport law requires that you have fuel in the car’s tank at all times. Running out of fuel can attract impunity under law. To ensure that there’s no shortage, there are gas stations evenly spread beside autobahn, so that you always find one when you need it.
Role of Hitler
Autobahns are widely credited to Hitler, whether he is worthy of it or not the jury is out on that. The idea originated around the 1920s while Hitler came to power in the year 1933. However, it was under Hitler’s rule the construction began in full swing and the first section was inaugurated in the year 1935.
It’s illegal to overtake from the right
While you can cruise at a speed of your preference, you can overtake cars only from the left. Overtaking from the right is illegal and can attract fine. It’s okay to honk at cars in the extreme left lane if they are plying at a leisurely pace. However, tailgating can attract fine too and it’s advisable to maintain distance.
Biggest car pile-up
Tailgating does not give cars enough distance to stop and can be quite dangerous in case of an emergency situations. The biggest accident that involved 259 cars occurred on the autobahn and there were 73 collisions in that particular incident.
It required 50 ambulances, 400 firemen and 3 helicopters to clear the mess. While more than 80 people were injured, miraculously, no one died.
The longest section of road without any speed limit exists between Hamburg and Berlin which is 150km long. A total distance of just over 230kms can be covered in 2hrs. If you have a faster car, you may take even less than that.
With 2.2 fatalities per billion kilometres travelled, German Autobahns are world’s safest. Despite being unusually safe and an immaculate track record, you would find emergency phones installed every 2km on Autobahn. Not only that, you can speak in English with the attendant and ask for help in time of need.