5 thoughts on “End Of A Driving Era”

  1. Too bad the article is paywalled. A few years ago, my wife and older son and I went to Germany, and I was in driving heaven for two weeks. Though I was driving a no-name rental, with a five-speed manual transmission and a one liter engine (that’s an exaggeration), I was able to cruise at 160 kph (99.4 mph) most of the time. Further, German drivers stay in the right lane except when passing, and are in general the best drivers I’ve ever encountered anywhere.

    It will be interesting to see what happens when speed limits are imposed. In the United States, imposition of the 55 mph limit caused the first increase in highway fatality rates ever. When the 55 mph speed limit was done away with, the carnage predicted by many failed to materialize. The reason is that people tend to drive at the safest speed that the road permits, regardless of what some bureaucrat thinks the speed limit should be. The distribution of driving speeds from car to car tends to be very small.
    But when the speed limit is set well below the actual safe speed, the distribution of driving speeds from car to car becomes very large. Accidents become more frequent, and the consequences more drastic.

    Interestingly, the DOT highway department has known all of this since the 1970s, and did nothing about it. Better to virtue signal about saving energy (and lie about saving lives, which was the opposite of what the policy did). I’m not sure what the reason is for the new EU speed limit (since the WSJ article is paywalled), but there really is no good reason for drastic speed limits – or speed limits, period.

  2. That is a shame. While I was not driving, I took a taxi from the airport at Dusseldorf to the company office, and our route included a 25-minute leg on the autobahn. The driver maintained about 130mph for most of that leg and it was quite a thrill for me. He stayed in the right lane except to pass, and several cars passed us doing 150 or more. Amazing to realize we likely traveled over 50 miles in that short period of time.

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