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The German Autobahn sign
with route markers for
Bundesautobahnen 1, 3 & 5
A map of the German Bundesautobahnen network
|Maintained by Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur|
|Length||12,996 km (2017) (8,075 mi)|
(BAB X or A X)
Autobahn (engl. motorway) is the controlled-access highway system in Germany. They are famous because in many parts of the roads, there are no speed limits and drivers can drive as fast as they want to.
An autobahn has at least two lanes in each direction, with a barrier between the directions. Sometimes there may be more than two lanes for one direction (or another lane for cars with mechanical failures). All drivers are supposed to drive on the outer-most right lane except when they move past other cars or trucks that are going slower.
Many autobahns in Germany have no speed limit. There is only a speed recommendation of 130 km (80.8 mi) per hour. However, drivers going faster than 130 km/h can be made responsible for an accident that they are involved in. The German traffic law says that it is only permitted to drive as fast as the track conditions allow.
German Road Safety Council (DVR), has established that on average, there are 25% more deaths on sections of the autobahn without speed limits compared to those with a limit. Data analysis performed by Der Spiegel, has established that a speed limit applied across all German motorways would save 140 lives a year..
An emergency telephone is located at a German autobahn every 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) . Junctions between two autobahns are called Dreieck (Triangle), if one autobahn ends there or Kreuz (Cross). Junctions with normal roads are called Anschlussstelle. All junctions of an autobahn are numbered sequentially.