Section : Traffic Information
Safety of Public Transportation: Excellent
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Excellent
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Excellent
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Excellent
Road conditions in general are excellent, although caution should be exercised while traveling on older roads in eastern Germany. The high speed permitted on the German autobahn, weather, and unfamiliar road markings can pose significant hazards, and driver error is a leading cause of accidents involving American motorists in Germany. Rules on right-of-way differ significantly from the U.S. Notice should be taken that it is generally illegal in Germany to pass vehicles from the right and that the threshold for determining whether a person has been driving under the influence of alcohol is lower than in some U.S. states. For specific information on travel within Germany contact the German National Tourist Board Office in New York at (212) 661-7200, fax (212) 661-7174 or via the Internet at http://www.us.germany-tourism.de/e.
Travelers should also note that railroad crossings are differently marked in Germany than in the U.S. There have been several accidents involving Americans in recent years at railroad crossings. In addition to the standard crossbuck (X-shaped) sign, railroad crossings are often marked by signal lights. Signal lights flash only when a train is approaching. Regardless of the color of the light, a flashing light at a railroad crossing means that a train is approaching and that all vehicles should stop.
Individuals holding U.S. drivers' licenses may drive in Germany for up to six months without acquiring a German driver's license.