Which state has no speed limit

Your question

During the discussion about the car toll, the topic of "speed limit on German autobahns" came up among the readers.

Why is it allowed to race almost without limits in Germany?

Our answer

By Thomas Harloff, employee in the auto department of Süddeutsche.de

It is true that there is no general speed limit on German autobahns. Germany and the Isle of Man, where most of the roads are unrestricted, are the last places in Europe to do without it. The same applies to some countries in Africa and especially Asia, including Afghanistan, Burundi, Nepal, North Korea and Somalia. However, in most of these countries the infrastructure is insufficiently developed. Where paved roads exist, their condition is often so bad that high speeds are not possible anyway.

However, there is a recommendation in this country - the recommended speed of 130 kilometers per hour. In fact, the average speed on German autobahns is only slightly higher. On the one hand, because very few motorists drive faster than 130 km / h, on the other hand, because large parts of the motorways are speed-limited. Permanent maximum speeds apply to around a third, for example in particularly dangerous and confusing places. In addition, there are ten to 15 with temporarily restricted sections, for example through construction sites, in rain or fog. De facto, there is a speed limit on 40 to 45 percent of all German motorway kilometers.

The fact that Germany is Europe's last bastion against a general speed limit on motorways has, of course, primarily to do with the strong car lobby. The ADAC as a motorist club, in which around 19 million members are organized, and the Verband der Automobilindustrie VDA, the lobby group for German automobile manufacturers, continue to fight vehemently against its introduction. Both institutions are very close and especially the German manufacturers, whose model ranges include numerous powerful and correspondingly fast vehicles, are interested in securing the alleged raison d'être of their cars.

Various surveys show that the majority of German citizens vote for a general speed limit. The proponents repeatedly cite safety, nature and noise protection reasons for their demands. According to the Federal Environment Agency, a speed limit of 120 km / h could reduce CO2 emissions by nine percent. But does security also benefit? It is almost impossible to find up-to-date figures on this. The last detailed analysis by the Federal Statistical Office is from 2006. According to this, 42 percent of fatal accidents on motorways are so-called "speed accidents", and 70 percent of all fatal accidents occur on sections without speed restrictions.

However, some accident statistics speak against a general speed limit. Only twelve percent of all traffic casualties die on the autobahn, although around a third of all German traffic rolls there. 60 percent of all fatal accidents happen on rural roads. These cope with 40 percent of the traffic volume and a maximum of 100 km / h are allowed there. In Austria and the USA, where there are strict speed limits, it is less safe on the autobahn than in this country. In Italy and Austria there were therefore considerations to relax the speed limit. In Austria, test phases with motorway sections on which 160 km / h were allowed have even taken place. So far, however, our neighboring country has not been able to bring itself to raise the speed limit.

So even if there is no general speed limit on German autobahns - you cannot speed without limits on them. You shouldn't, just for safety reasons.