On a recent trip to Germany, our trucks editor and the executive editor of our sister site CCJ, Jack Roberts got a chance to drive on the world-famous Autobahn. Where you name the speed limit.
Jack details his experience in a post over on another of our sister sites Overdrive and in it he lays out a few things you might not know about the Autobahn driving experience or rules.
For instance, because of the rigors driving in a mass of people setting their own speed limit provides, teens in Germany must attain their license in stages. “So you actually have to be rated and approved to drive at high speed on the Autobahn,” Jack explains.
And did you know the “no speed limit rule” doesn’t apply to heavy trucks? Trucks are limited to a speed of 55 mph and are only allowed to travel in the far right hand lane, unless passing. Plus, trucks are banned from traveling the Autobahn altogether on the weekends. “You don’t see many trucks on the road at all on Saturday. But you see none at all on Sunday,” Jack explains.
What’s interesting is that though the Autobahn is viewed by Americans as the ultimate symbol of open-road freedom, it only functions due to the high degree of discipline German drivers apply. “For example, when they come to a section with posted speed limits (usually near a town or a tunnel, for example) they immediately hit the brakes and begin a rapid deceleration to the posted speed.”
In other words, there’s no doubt they enjoy the freedom. But they’re also responsible with it and do what it takes to ensure they keep it.