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And in conclusion ... this is driving:


155 mph on a public road
250 km/h (155 mph) in an Audi A6 3.0 TDI Quattro, Autobahn A-93, Munich to Regensburg.


168 mph on a public road
270 km/h (168 mph) in a U.S. specs BMW M5 e60, 5-liter V10, Autobahn A-8, Stuttgart to Ulm.


168 mph on a public road
270km/h (168 mph) in a BWM M3 e93, Autobahn outside Frankfurt, no restriction zone.

And now, feel free to reconsider the fallacy of the statement that "speed kills". This is being drilled into driver's minds the world over, but especially in the United States. Yet U.S. Interstate highways have twice as many fatalities per 100 thousand population than the German Autobahns do. And this is with a 110 km/h speed limit, vs generally no speed limit in Germany! (Do not believe it? Read about it here.)

Driving safety has nothing to do with speed itself. Going 50 mph past a streetcar stop is far more dangerous than 120 mph on a clear day with light traffic on an open Autobahn. Safety far more to do with the style of driving, and with the design and condition of vehicles. Being tailgated or cut off at 70 mph (110 km/h) on Interstate-10 by some idiot in a 3 1/2 ton pickup truck is far more deadly than a spirited but leisurely drive at 140 mph (230 kmh) on the Autobahn where people follow the rules. If one follows the rules (which by the way are generally the same on the German Autobahn as on the American Interstate), then cruising at 100-120 mph on the Autobahn is far safer than 60 mph on the average American Interstate.

Why is this? Because the really dangerous acts like driving aggressively, tailgating, passing on the right, blocking the left lane and not using turn signals are much more labor-intensive to enforce than speed. One would have to actually observe other drivers' behavior to pick out the bad seeds. But that takes too much effort. It is so much simpler to sit behind a bush and just here and there clock someone going by at 90 mph. In Germany, you would never get a ticket for driving 90 mph, but you would get a big fat ticket if you are seen tailgating. Going 60 mph and driving 10 ft from the car up front can earn a $400 ticket and a 3-month license suspension. German police cruise the Autobahns in unmarked cars and catch tailgaters. And that's the way it should be!


*) Cars in our extended family