Driving in Europe - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 11-19-2008
 
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Driving in Europe

Am I the only one!!! I cannot take it any more. I have been in West Texas for a year now. Moved from germany, been in the Army for 20 years. However, How can anyone stand to drive here in the U.S. NOT ONE SOLE pays attention to the rules of the road. And, it seems that every time I navigate thru a mess or near pile ups, thanks to a great suspension and a responsive engine, I just clear the mess and notice the speedo getting into3 digits and I get pulled over. I can follow the rules of the road, except for speed. But if everyone did, we could all go faster and SAFER!! Is there anything we can do. Seems thaats only tag speeders NOT rules violators! Please chime in. Dont give me advice to move back to Europe, I will, but not after til I get back from Iraq, again x3.

John
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#2 Old 11-19-2008
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At least in Texas people still usually drive above the speed limit.

Try driving in Cleveland OH. Last year I was going around 80mph in the left lane. Someone merges onto the highway and immediately goes into the lane right in front of me going 50 mph, crossing 3 lanes on a 4 lane highway. The other lanes were almost empty. I ended up rear ending them because I couldn't brake in time. The thing is that this happens here so often I can not count. People will also sit in the left lane going the speed limit or sometimes slower.

I've driven in Germany and it is a lot less stressful and faster driving. We rented a Hertz BMW 730d and people would just get out of our way when we were overtaking them. It was very nice. You don't have to worry about people doing moronic things as much as they do in the US.

In the spring, we're going on a trip to Italy (Rome, Florence, and Venice). I've rented a S320 CDI from Hertz, so we'll see how that goes. I heard Italian drivers are worse than morons in the US.
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#3 Old 11-19-2008
 
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ITALY !!!!
Love it. The Italians drive a little different than most Europeans. They do not pay attention to lights or signs, but it all seems to work, just have to roll with it, . Been there 20 times. In the mountains of Carrera, you can buy Marble just cut out of the mountain. Just deal with them. Murano, just off of Venice, you can buymthe nicest glass sculptures there. I recommend Dino Rosin Glass. They are the only family that use the "Calcedonia" process. Very Impressive. There some great villages near Livorno. Ve have always loved Liguaria and Tuscany regions. Have a blast there.

John
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#4 Old 11-19-2008
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I totally agree about Italy, I'm lucky enough to get frequent trips to Maranello and the drivers are simply the best, if you are blocking the path they intend to take from A to B you will be killed and the funny thing is it really does work and i have no idea how because they should crash into people and car's almost constantly.
#5 Old 11-19-2008
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I think it depends on where you are driving a longer time and the existing conventions. I can compare the driving in Germany with Southern California and Michigan because of recently gained and affirmed experiences.
Driving in the US is much more relaxing and stress-free. Everybody has quite the same velocity, it is allowed to overtake on the right lane on the freeway, it is allowed to turn one's right with red traffic light, the complete manner is much more defensive.
Idiots are in every country, but I think over here there are more. One rule for the autobahn is driving right for slow cars. Trucks may go about 80 km/h (50 mph). If a car's driver wants to overtake, he ought to look into the rear view mirror to see faster cars. ... So here are differences of speed possible about 120 km/h (75 mph), and for this you need very good brakes.
(French, Italian guys, don't punish me) On the other hand the driving in German towns is easier and less chaotic than in Paris. And then follows Italy ...


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#6 Old 11-19-2008
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Yeah j&vslk55, I wish the public could do something about the speed limit, but I am afraid we can't. In reality, the only driving-law enforced in the US is the speedlimit and because of the ridiciously low limit it has become a calculated source of income for the counties and cities. Just driving above the limit (especially above 100mph) is being confused with reckless driving. Reckless driving can be done at any speed.

It seems, another reason for having this extermely low speedlimit on US highways and freeways is, so "everyone" (no offense here) can drive a car, even poeple without a real driver's education. As a result, of course, you find that most drivers divert to some kind of "mulitasking" while driving. We all have seen them or done it ourselfes, i.e. eating, drinking, texting, reading, shaving, putting on makup, etc. So in the end, a low speedlimit does not lead to safer drving, but, I would argue, it actually promotes less attention to driving and thus causing unnecessary traffic jams and accidents.
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#7 Old 11-19-2008
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Originally Posted by koesce View Post
. As a result, of course, you find that most drivers divert to some kind of "mulitasking" while driving. We all have seen them or done it ourselfes, i.e. eating, drinking, texting, reading, shaving, putting on makup, etc.
I once saw a woman on I-85 doing around 75mph and she was looking in the visor mirror putting on makeup, talking on the cellphone, AND smoking a cigarette!!
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#8 Old 11-19-2008
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I once saw a woman on I-85 doing around 75mph and she was looking in the visor mirror putting on makeup, talking on the cellphone, AND smoking a cigarette!!
Sitting on the right or left front seat?


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#9 Old 11-19-2008
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Sitting on the right or left front seat?

Sitting behind the wheel and "driving"!
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I see it every day. Crazy Drivers. I mean even Driving in Germany has changed in the past 10-15 years. I lived in Europe for 8 years and the rest here in the states. Lived all over the States, and yes there are some practices uniques to certain regions or states. What are the speed limits in Southern California? Guess there are crazy drivers everywhere, But I just love the Autobahn. Now they have cameras hidden in the guard rails, in the "speed limit" zones. Sneaky. I take driving in Italy like a challenge, it freaks my wife out, . Last time in Paris, the traffic was so bad and unmanageable, my wife and our friend were terrified, I opened a bottle of wine and we drank it to calm them down. Was pretty funny, now that I think about it.
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#11 Old 11-20-2008
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j&vslk55, I've been in Germany now for 7 years and the closest calls I've had, other than wildlife, have been with other Americans moving left without paying attention on the autobahn. I usually enjoy driving over here but really can't compare too much with the state anymore. For the first 20 years of driving, about 80% was on motorcycles where I was always taking backroads and relatively unused roads for enjoyment.

As for Italy, most of my driving there, in and around, has been on bikes as well and they definitely have a good attitude towards them. Bikes seem to have the right of way all the time, going where they want when they want. It made World Ducati Week a blast.

I have to mention your personal info as my tastes seem to run very similar. A 55, 2 Guzzis and an Aprilia as my toys. Good luck on your next tour.
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#12 Old 11-20-2008
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I'd consider driving around southern europe between Italy, France and Spain there are some spectacular views and also checkout Switzerland as well.

06 SLK55 AMG (Kleemann K2)
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#13 Old 11-20-2008
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#14 Old 11-21-2008
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Try Austria and the Tirol for great scenery.

If you get so far in, try the Brenner pass across to Italy from Innsbruck or travel up the Grossglockner road to Kaiser Franz Josefs Hohe (http://www.grossglockner.com/highalpineroad/motorcycle/).

Try the Gerlos Alpine Road (http://en.gerlosstrasse.at/)

Spectacular doesn't even begin to describe it!

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#15 Old 11-21-2008
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I think I may have taken that Brenner pass road. Is that the one where the major hairpin turns are numbered and there are more than 30 on each side? That was in 1972, so my memory is a little blurry...
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#16 Old 11-21-2008
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Not sure if the turns are numbered on the Brenner but they certainly are on the Gerlos Pass.

I was in Austria in September and will be skiing there in January.

I'd love to take my SLK but as there wil be three of us, we'll use my VW Passat. No hardship really.

Memories of the Grossglockner pass from last September are of suicidal cyclists (pedal not motor!) overtaking cars on the down hill side at speeds in excess of 40 mph!

John
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#17 Old 11-21-2008
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Italy is bad, but I have to agree with Bernd and j&vslk55. Paris is a nightmare!! We take the train and get around via the metro.

And you're right Brad, alot of times it's the Americans up here as well, but more frequently I find the French don't pay much attention to their rearviews either. No offense to our French members, I NEVER see French plated SLKs driving stupid.

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#18 Old 11-24-2008
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This is funny,

because thats how I felt when I moved from germany to the US over a decade ago.

I couldn;t stand how people in the U.S. drove and that people were using all three lanes on the highway and going the same speed limit and being allowed to pass eachother left and right....

worst part the speed limit,was the biggest shocker for me...

I assume people know,germany's highway aka autobahn has not speed limit and going 160mph there is literally normal and the norm.
Taking your driving test,you are required even to hit the autobahn there and show you are able and confidant and secure enough to drive 100mph or higher...

So I felt totally weird when I first drove here....I felt like I am the only one who actually knows how to drive haha...

I got pulled over twice for going 100mph in Michigan...and eachtime the cop asked me "are you crazy" and I told him "I am sorry I am from germany and wehave no speed limits" he started laughing and said " well that explains it" and reduced my speeding to 80 making it only 10mph only over...lucky me i guess!
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#19 Old 11-24-2008
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Do'nt try driving in Cairo!! They have no use for lane markers AND stoplights. They do however use there horns ALOT!!
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#20 Old 11-24-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dltslk View Post
Do'nt try driving in Cairo!! They have no use for lane markers AND stoplights. They do however use there horns ALOT!!
Be glad you're in a rental and not your 55. If you wreck a rental, you just get another one...
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