German Autobahn Trivia and More

The Local Germany has gathered eight interesting facts about the Autobahn. In turn, I have a few of my own to add.

  • Back in 1847, they’d already had speed limits. Based on an archived newsletter from the town of Regensburg dated April of that same year, four people were charged a fine because of speeding in a horse-drawn carriage.
  • In 2015, the car maker VW sold 7.2 million sausages to its employees from its factory-owned sausage production. Those same employees sold 5.82 million cars that same year.
  • When you google Autobahn Germany, you get 535.000 results, whereas for Autobahn Deutschland you get 6.300.000 results
  • How much is a kilometer of Autobahn? The average cost per kilometer runs between 6 million and 20 million euro. Some parts of the Autobahn construction costs can reach astronomical heights, when it comes to adding tunnels and viaducts. Take Berlin, e.g. the extension of the A100 in Berlin by 3.2 km is so far the most expensive stretch of Autobahn: 470 million euro for 3.2 km.
  • German mini-lesson: der Geisterfahrer (literal translation: ghost driver) This is someone driving down the wrong side of the road. You might hear this on the radio: “Attention all drivers on the A xx, there’s a car heading in the wrong direction, please stay on the right-hand lane and do not overtake.” or “An alle Autofahrer, auf der A xx  ist ein Geisterfahrer unterwegs. Bitte fahren Sie auf der rechten Spur.”
Autobahn Deutschland

Autobahn Deutschland


German Autobahn goes Emoticon

Driving down the Autobahn somewhere between Celle and Frankfurt, we encountered our first smiley faces along the way.

The first one was to announce construction work being done, slowing down traffic for another 4 km.


The second one announced the end of it. Geschafft = Done with it!

Autobahn geschafft

For some reason, these smiley faces do their job. This way, I know some younger people are on the Autobahn force.

Dieselhandschuhe at German Gas Stations

Yesterday, on the way to the Autobahn towards Heidelberg, we stopped for gas. Our stateside visitor pointed at this sign, recognizing the meaning of Handschuhe (gloves), but was wondering why they were called Dieselhandschuhe.

Help yourselves!

Help yourselves!

Diesel is heavier than gas, therefore does not evaporate as easily. Also, the Diesel gas pumps are often much dirtier than the regular pumps and once Diesel is on your hands, it is much harder to get off. The Dieselhandschuhe may also be used when filling one’s car with regular gas – there is no German Dieselhandschuh Polizei around.

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