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Expat in Germany: Driving in Germany

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Driving in Germany

Traffic jams are common when driving in Germany
Ahhh, driving in Germany, who hasn't dreamed of cruising down the autobahn with no speed limit in sight?   J.P. is a grandpa driver.  Normally this would drive me crazy, but a grandpa driver in Germany means driving around 150km/hr in the slow lane. Coming from Canada where the fastest speed limit is 110km/hr, this is still pretty fast.   In Germany, this isn't that fast and drivers whizz by us going at speeds that I'm guessing are close to 200km/hr, just shaking their heads at us when driving in Germany.

Driving in Germany can be scary though, since all of a sudden, the car in front of you is flashing their lights meaning "don't hit me, I'm stopping suddenly" (hard to do when you're going 200km/hr) and there out of the blue is a traffic jam where you won't go any faster than 20km/hr for the next 20 minutes.  As you can imagine, multi-car pile ups are a frequent sight when driving in Germany along the auto bahn.  Perhaps this, along with all the rules to memorize is why driving in Germany scares me but at the same time excites me(I haven't actually driven in Germany yet).  Then, on the other hand think of all the young boys who have just gotten their driver's licence driving in Germany.  Yikes, maybe I'll stick to public transit for now. 

 Illertal Ost - A most interesting Rest Haus in southern Germany
More on Driving in Germany



At August 26, 2010 at 7:21 AM , Blogger shufuinjapan said...

Driving (or should I say being driven around) in Germany was pretty scary for me not only the speed but the being on the wrong side of the road also took a lot to get used to. Although my husband liked driving fast on the autobahn, neither of us enjoyed being driven at 160 or 180 by a friend who enjoyed scaring people who were new to Germany! I love the public transport in Stuttgart.

At August 27, 2010 at 6:51 AM , Blogger Eric Zimmerman said...

Hello, let me say I really enjoy your blog. I am or should I say going to be in a simular situation.My wife of 11 yrs and I are moving to Germany. Actually she is already there with my two kids in a village called Beesdau about 40 minutes outside Berlin. She is a German citizen and all here family lives there in the village. She went over ahead of me to get established and get the kids adjusted so that when I come over we can concentrate on me. I still have some things I need to take care of before I move over. It looks like it will be around the Dec- March time period. Anyways reading about your adjustment you have had to make are very informative so thanks.
As far as driving I was over at the end of July to visit my family and got to drive the Autobaun several times, I loved it! How great it was to drive as fast as I wanted to with no fear of police. but you do constantly have to check your rearview mirror as some of those BMW's drive crazy. thanks again for the posts!

At August 29, 2010 at 10:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

That sounds quite unnerving, but keep in mind this is coming from a guy who was too scared to drive on the freeway in Salt Lake City! You be careful over there!

At September 2, 2010 at 9:24 AM , Blogger Stuttgartgirl said...

shufuinjapan and Anonymous - glad to hear it's not just me :)

Thanks so much Eric. Good luck in getting ready to move to Germany, I'm sure you have a lot to do. Having a German wife will make life much easier!

At September 6, 2010 at 5:14 AM , Blogger shoegirl said...

Yes, the speed is sometimes a little scary, but overall, I feel so much safer on the road here than I did in CA. People here know the rules of the road and they follow them - the fast line is for driving fast, cupholders are for passengers and people focus on the road. In the SF Bay Area, road rage was king, people drove 50mph (80kph) in the fast lane and I've even seen people reading (as in, a novel!) on the freeway (and no, not in stopped traffic).

Big hooray for German drivers - I'm so glad I'm here!

At December 27, 2010 at 1:20 PM , Blogger MooAtU2 said...

I agree with shoegirl, I love driving in Germany. People actually use the left lanes passing only- makes things much easier!

At December 29, 2010 at 4:32 AM , Blogger Expat in Germany said...

I would agree that Germans are better drivers here, but I'm still not so sure about the speed.


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