How To Drive Safely In Germany
There is one single country left on this planet, where it is still possible to drive as fast as your can take you. This country is Germany. Although Germany has strict driving regulations as to speed limits within cities, on the countryside, and elsewhere where indicated, there are parts on the German highway, the Autobahn, where speeding is officially allowed. In fact, Germany has experienced a rise in tourists for this specific purpose.
But doing 200 on the highway is not without risk. Chances are, you are used to a completely different driving style in your home country, and accidents are made before you know it. For this reason, there are four important things you should know, before you push your car to the limit.
Recommended Speed limit = 130 km/h
If you see a round, white sign on the highway, with two diagonal lines running through it, it is probably the end of a speed limit. This means, you can drive as fast as you want. Nevertheless, Germany has a recommended speed limit of 130 kilometers per hour nationwide. This means, that you will not get fined if you drive faster when it is allowed, but that you can get into serious trouble when you get involved into an accident, or even cause an accident. Often, you are not insured at such speeds, and insurance companies will not pay. The reason is obvious: the damage caused at such horrendous speed is much bigger than when driving slower.
Watch your mirror
At places without speed limit, it is vitally important to watch your rear mirror. Even if you think you are driving fast yourself, someone might come in with a much higher speed. Before you switch to the left lane to overtake someone, look in the rear mirror whether someone is approaching from behind, and with which speed. If you simply switch lanes, it might be (very) difficult for the other person to hit the brakes on time, and an accident is bound to occur.
When driving at such high speeds, it is vitally important to look well ahead at the road, and to try to anticipate what other road participants are doing, or what they might do. For the same reason as mentioned above, someone might switch lanes and suddenly appear in front of you with a much lower speed. Such driving behavior has already caused several deadly accidents on the highway.
Also, some roads are not to be taken at full speed. Sometimes the road quality is very bad, or the curves are rather sharp. This does not automatically mean, that a speed limit is indicated. Therefore, you need to anticipate what speed the road permits. Be especially careful when the road is wet.
Keep your distance
When driving behind someone, it is important to keep your distance. The preferable distance is about two seconds, but one second should be minimum. This means, the faster you are driving, the bigger the distance should be. Having a bigger distance means you have more time to quickly respond to sudden and unforeseen situation. Driving to closely behind the person in front of you is actually find with high amounts.
Wrapping it up
Driving at 200 km/h can be thrilling, and many people in Germany do it. But many of the people driving at such speeds are used to it, they are extremely alert, and they do it every day. For someone not used to driving at such speeds, a short trip can quickly end in a severe accident. Therefore, always use precaution when driving, and always use a driving style you are comfortable with.