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View Diary: Whiny Frog or Boiling Frog - Why don't you care about energy? (406 comments)

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  •  Deutschland does it (4.00)
    ... even with a recommended speed limit of about 80 mph.  My Volvo S40 is classified as a "large family car" here for safety rating purposes, while it is a "compact" in the US (which I bought for the terrific balance of safety, performance, gas mileage and ease of parking).  Here, it's a bit of a gas guzzler and won't fit into some smaller urban parking spaces.

    I have seen many Germans (legally) driving their little Opels and VWs 100 mph, yet Germany has a lower highway fatality rate than the US.

    How?

    They see driver safety as a road engineering, car condition and driver training problem more than a vehicle-size arms race.  Getting a German driver's license is difficult and expensive.  Most drivers had about 20-30 hours of training and the road tests are rigorous.  Car problems that are considered merely irritating to American drivers are grounds for failing a biennial inspection in Germany.  Autobahn entrances and interchanges have been heavily studied and carefully designed to maximize safety.

    Other European countries also have relatively high (75 - 80 mph) highway speed limits, smaller average vehicle sizes, and more stringent driver training requirements, and fatality rates that are equal to or better than America's.

    Re-examining our approach to driving safety simultaneously with rethinking our fuel consumption could work out quite nicely in more ways than one...

    Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely in my name.

    by A Texan in Maryland on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 12:58:54 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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