How should freeway systems be made and maintained? As with all of history we can always look towards Germany to do it right. The Autobahn is a prime example of a well made and maintained freeway, they have a recommended speed limit of 120 km/h or approximately 75 mph in restricted urban areas but outside of that there is no limit in unrestricted areas. You’re legally permitted to go as fast as your heart, and car, will take you.
Is this smart to get rid of max speed limits in certain areas like the Autobahn does, or should we stick with the U.S. freeway system? As with anything you can’t go on opinion alone, so let’s look at the facts. According to https://www.idrivesafely.com/defensive-driving/trending/it-time-american-autobahn, “After all, Germany’s famed Autobahn has no posted speed limits, and as of 2010, the country’s fatality rate per billion-travel-kilometers on motorways stands at an impressive 1.98 deaths – much lower than the United States fatality rate of 3.62 deaths.” So even with what some people could call a lack of structure because it has no max speed limit, the German Autobahn shows better statistics than the United States. But that just shows that Germany has significantly fewer deaths than the U.S., so now we should look at the annual crash rate. The German Autobahn has about 302,435 crashes per year, which might sound like a lot. But compared to America’s whopping 5.25 million crashes per year. I know that the U.S. thinks that we need to be number one in everything, but having the one of highest number of crashes isn’t exactly a contest worth winning.
Now, you can’t just look at the facts without looking at what caused them. Part of the reason that Germany can pull off the Autobahn is because their program to get your driver’s license is way stricter than the U.S.
Getting your license in Germany can take up to six months of complicated tests and cost up to $2,000. So it’s safe to say that Germany has some dedicated drivers, especially compared to the U.S. where we have to constantly talk about how you shouldn’t drive drunk, high, tired or distracted.
How should freeways be built and maintained? I personally believe that Germany has it right and we should follow their example, but some others might disagree. So, what do you think?