Originally Posted by Tsuyoi
I would like to point out the test driver that was in the fatal incident on the Autobahn in a 3 series. While I have nothing but respect and condolences for him and his family, I doubt such an accident would have been fatal had he and all other traffic been going at the same speeds, or even with only a 20mph difference. Accidents like this happen when one driver is doing say 40, while another is doing 80 or 90.
Please don't take offense, I don't mean to offend you, but you should really try to drive anywhere in Europe. Possibly in Germany - before you say things like those in quoted text.
My wife went to Europe first time in her life about 7 years ago. She was scared witless for the whole time when in passenger seat. 10 visits later, she absolutely HATES driving in U.S. and how unsafe it all is. Her experience is mostly from a passenger seat, it would not take more than 2 visits to reach same conclusion if she was actively driving all the time.
Just from a logic perspective ... how can anybody think that having a vehicle 12 ft apart in your blind spot at 65 mph for miles, miles and miles is safer than having the vehicle in the front of you, in your line of sight and for a very short time (until you pass them) THANKS to a legally allowed big difference in speed? Especially trucks. That one will continue to baffle me forever.
You took ONE example of a very bad accident on Autobahn. I will tell you, however, that Germans as a nation die less than we do. How much less? Well, in 2006 we died 2.5 TIMES more than Germans if you count deaths/100,000 population. We died 2 TIMES more if you look deaths/100,000 registered vehicles. We died 50% more if you look at deaths/1 million km traveled. So, whatever we are doing is obviously wrong. At least as far as I'm concerned.
I still don't think that driving 30+ over the speed limit is a brightest idea out there regardless of the road. I do, however, think that a lot of the things American drivers do routinely without ever braking the speed limit should result in suspension of DL and mandatory driving school before they get a new one. Which things? Too many to list, unfortunately. All of them that are obviously a result of the total obliviousness of the driver to his/her surrounding. Like that truck driver in your example, for example. You can bet pretty penny that that guy will not drive a truck again. In U.S. all fault would be assigned to the driver of F30 - which is SO wrong on SO many levels.
EDIT: as far as that second scourge of our roads (DUI) is concerned ... I definitely think that driving drunk is a VERY bad idea. Seriously. However, I said many times in those discussions that I (personally) would feel a whole lot safer driving between boozed Finns who obtained their DL in Finland than I would driving between stone sober average American drivers.