Course Hero Logo

Uncovering the truth about grmanys autobahns a

Course Hero uses AI to attempt to automatically extract content from documents to surface to you and others so you can study better, e.g., in search results, to enrich docs, and more. This preview shows page 4 - 6 out of 12 pages.

UNCOVERING THE TRUTH ABOUT GRMANY’S AUTOBAHNSA ________________Officially the Bundesautobahnen, which, translated, means federal expressways, we knowthem more commonly as the autobahns; Germany’s impressive system of motorways. Thereis nothing extraordinary about them, fine feats of engineering though they may be, so whyhas the term autobahn become so well known?The simple answer is that people livingoutside of Germany have had their curiosity more than a little tickled on account of the factthat Germany’s motorways are, in one specific way if no other, very unique indeed. They arenot the longest system in the world, this plaudit going to the interstate Highway System ofAmerica,nor are they even second or third ( China and India respectively), and though theycome a healthy fourth in the length stakes, this is really neither here nor there. No, indeed,what fascinates us about the autobahns has nothing to do with their technical or designfeatures. It is though, a lot to do with how fast you can go them. The autobahns, you see, arethe only stretch of motorway in the world on which you can drive your car (provided it is nottowing a trailer) at, well, any speed you like. Now that’s a very attractive proposition for many4
DAY-39men-come-boy-racers out there who would salivate at the prospect of being able to drives asfast as they wanted, and, therefore, on that rather scary point, perhaps we should considerasking the, well, obvious question: what on earth were the Germans thinking when they didthis? Surely having no speed limit whatsoever is a recipe for disaster.B ____________________To clarify, there is a ‘recommended’ speed limit of 130km/h on all stretches of Germanmotorway, and a hard limit is imposed on some vehicles. Buses carrying standing passengersand motorbikes pulling trailers cannot go faster than 60 km/h. All other buses, as well aspassenger cars and trucks with trailers, and all vehicles weighing in excess of 3.5 tonnes arenot allowed to exceed 80km/h. Rare exceptions include buses that have been officiallycertified to travel at 100km/h and passenger cars carrying trailers that have received similarcertification. Nonetheless, the fact remains that all other cars, trucks and motorbikes, whileencouraged to adhere to the ‘recommended’ speed limit, are by no means bound to it andcan, in effect, travel as fast as they please. Indeed, many of them do and it is not uncommonto see a car racing past you on the autobahn travelling in excess of 140km/h.C ________________________In such circumstances, it would not be at all surprising to learn that Germany has an awfulrecord on road safety, except that it doesn’t Indeed, Germany’s road safety record iscomparable, and in some cases superior, to that of all other industrialized EuropeanCountries. So is this just luck rewarding recklessness? Well, first of all, it’s important toconcede that speed limits do apply at junctions and other danger spots, such as sectionsunder repair, and that there are even weather-related speeds limits on some stretches of theautobahn (lower speed limits are used in cases of wet lanes). To fail to point this out would beto paint a picture, rather unfairly, of speed-hungry officials putting the travelling public injeopardy on roads in order o gratify their own thrill-lust. Of course, this is not the case. Indeed,safety considerations aside, the Germans have even imposed speed limits for other purposes,such as to reduce pollution and noise on Some stretches of the autobahn, so there is no crazy

Upload your study docs or become a

Course Hero member to access this document

Upload your study docs or become a

Course Hero member to access this document

End of preview. Want to read all 12 pages?

Upload your study docs or become a

Course Hero member to access this document

Term
One
Professor
luke webster
Tags
Smoking cessation, Package holiday, Autobahn, Speed limit

Newly uploaded documents

Show More

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture