When I see someone passing on the right here in the US, or otherwise do some really stupid stuff, my remark usually is : ” 1 week in Germany, they will either be cured or dead ! “
I learned to drive a truck on the German Autobahn with the US Army in 1970. I feel I had been poorly trained (too much classroom not enough road time) and then I was throwed out on the autobahn to learn for myself. We as the Army had our share of crashes and those slow moving and slow to get moving Army trucks were not popular with the German nationals. Just as I was getting comfortable with the autobahn they had us take our trucks to the port of Bremmerhaven load them on ships sailed to England unloaded off the ship and drove in England. Now that was an experience driving on the wrong side of the road. It was a miracle I didnt kill anyone I would do allright till I made a turn and then I would want to go in the wrong lane again. When I got back to the states this was a breeze
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So what if German driving licensing, vehicle inspections, and littering laws are stricter? Those just impact prettiness and cost, not safety. Germany is the crossroads of Europe hosting drivers from far more restrictive nations, including American personnel and their families. Germany now has better road safety than most of America — quite the reverse of 30 years ago when the Insurance Institute for Highway Robbery, er, Safety, used to brag about the U.S.’ safety record compared to Germany’s — the IIHS had to give that up!! WHAT? Don’t believe me? Here’s a link to the official German highway stats (in English) http://tinyurl.com/autobahn2010 where (shock!) the autobahn fatality rate is 2.0 deaths per billion travel-kilometers, far lower than the overall rate of 5.6. Finally, don’t forget that Germany absorbed the former East Germany, and — over time — removed the pathetic 62-mph speed limits from their autobahns. It’s an interesting story itself: http://www.giz.de/Themen/en/dokumente/en-traffic-safety-reunification-2006.pdf
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