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German Engineering Doesn’t Match the Rules of the Autobahn

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You cannot drive as fast as you want on the Autobahn all the time contrary to popular belief, yet German automobile engineering is made for open roads. The speed capabilities, the handling, the road hugging – you want to drive a German car over 100 mph all the time. Well, you can’t here, and you can’t on the Autobahn under certain circumstances. How does MMW know so much about the Autobahn rules? We’re going to drive it someday. We seriously are.

Speed Limits When Necessary

Often thought to be a free-for-all, the Autobahn does have speed limits when driving slower is warranted. We have posted speed limits in the States, and those speed limits don’t change. Yes, you will learn in driver’s education that you should drive slower in the rain (to list one example), but the speed limit is still the same. Drivers here are expected to use common sense behind the wheel.

The Autobahn determines speed limits based on location and driving conditions and those speed limits can change if circumstances change. Rather than a printed speed limit sign that posts a permanent speed limit, the Autobahn has digital speed limit signs to change restrictions whenever necessary. This allows drivers to put the pedal to the metal when it’s safe to do so and slow down when they must.

An Example

Imagine you’ve flown to Germany on vacation and rented a Porsche to see what it can do on the Autobahn. Palms sweaty with anticipation, you get behind the wheel and enter the Autobahn at the nearest entry point. The gas tank is full and you’re ready to go, but you notice other drivers are driving slower than you thought they would be. You see a speed limit posted on a digital speed limit sign.

Once you leave the city, you see no speed limit posted on the next digital sign and everybody picks up the pace. You do, too, and feel an exhilarating rush. You notice nobody passes on the right, only the left, and after an hour of driving as fast you can, a speed limit is posted on a sign again and everybody slows down for an accident ahead. They also move to the right or left to create a center lane.

What just happened here? The autobahn has speed limits in areas of high traffic such as when it passes through major cities. You can only legally pass on the left when driving the Autobahn; never pass on the right. Finally, speed limits are enforced in dangerous situations, such as accidents and bad weather, and drivers create a center lane for emergency vehicles when there has been an accident.

We here at MMW hope you get to drive the Autobahn someday. In the meantime, located in Lawrenceville, GA, we service and repair European automobiles for customers in the metro-Atlanta area. Call us today at 678-247-0741 and let us tell you how we can maintain your European automobile.

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