Germany is the land of Mercedes, BMW, and Porsche.
But it’s also a country where you can get around with public transportation quite easily, so some people don’t even own a car. And most Germans own a car that Americans would probably consider small.
Okay, okay, most German cars aren’t quite THAT small, but it’s not a rare thing to see microcars such as the smart.
And, of course, German cars most often are stick shift cars, not automatic cars.
Despite rumors to the contrary, there are speed limits in Germany. Within towns and cities, it’s 50 km/h (31 mph) and 30 km/h (18 mph) in some residential areas. On most two-lane roads outside of cities (comparable to highways), there’s a speed limit of 100 km/h (62 mph). The Autobahn has a “recommended” speed limit of 130 km/h (80 mph), but of course many people happily ignore that recommendation. So I guess it’s safe to say that people drive faster in Germany.
If you’re speeding in Germany, you usually won’t be stopped – you’ll get a speeding ticket through the mail weeks after the incident. The German police use radar-linked cameras to catch speeders.
When I did research for Next of Kin, I noticed that getting a driver’s licence is different in the US. Here in Germany, we have drivers’ schools (Fahrschule). These cars are equipped with dual controls, so that the instructor can take over when necessary.
I also heard that traffic lights in the US are different from German traffic lights, but I don’t exactly know how. Does anybody know?