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The official German term is Bundesautobahn plural Bundesautobahnen , abbreviated BAB , which translates as "federal motorway". The literal meaning of the word Bundesautobahn is "Federal Auto mobile Track". German Autobahnen are widely known for having no federally mandated speed limit for some classes of vehicles. While driving faster is not illegal as such in the absence of a speed limit, it can cause an increased liability in the case of a collision which mandatory auto insurance has to cover ; courts have ruled that an "ideal driver" who is exempt from absolute liability for "inevitable" tort under the law would not exceed Richtgeschwindigkeit. A report by the Federal Road Research Institute reported that in Only federally built controlled-access highways with certain construction standards including at least two lanes per direction are called Bundesautobahn. They have their own white-on-blue signs and numbering system.
DRIVING ON THE AUTOBAHN, GERMANY
The Autobahn in Germany is shrouded in mystique. Outsiders rarely understand the many Autobahn rules and regulations surrounding this famous expressway, due in large part to fables of vehicles traveling in excess of mph on what is incorrectly understood as a "lawless" highway system. If you've ever asked the question "What is the Autobahn? Driving on the Autobahn is thrilling, but unbeknownst to many travelers, the Autobahn expressway does in fact have speed limits in place on much of the territory it covers, as well as a police presence to maintain the expertly crafted roadway infrastructure. Conversely, there are portions of the Autobahn - mostly outside of major population centers - which post suggested speed limits where drivers can legally take their vehicles to v-max and approach light-speed. In an attempt to shine some light on the mysterious Autobahn road system, Auto Europe has compiled a short list of Germany driving tips , to ensure your experience driving the Autobahn in a rental car in Germany goes off without a hitch.
General speed limits in Germany are set by the federal government. Any person driving a vehicle may only drive so fast that the car is under control. Speeds must be adapted to the road, traffic, visibility and weather conditions as well as the personal skills and characteristics of the vehicle and load. This requirement applies to all roads, and is similar to the "reasonable speed" legal obligation levied in other nations. Speed limits are enforced with a small tolerance. In December the West German legislature voted to abolish all speed limits,  reverting to State-level decisions. Moreover, the law forbids travel at speeds that would extend the vehicle's minimum halting distance beyond the driver's line of sight Sicherheitsabstand. The introduction of a national speed limit for motorways and similar roads has been on the agenda of various political and environmentalist groups for decades, but at present, there are no plans on behalf of the federal government regarding the matter. However, most Germans are in favour of a general speed limit.