It is rare to have so many nice, sunny days in a row in Germany. And with that beautiful weather comes additional road traffic. This is where we have to be mindful and maintain good situational awareness as we share the road.
During this period of excellent weather, remember you are sharing the road not just with other vehicles, but also with motorcycles, bicycles, runners/walkers and tourists.
Unfortunately, the 86th Airlift Wing Safety office has seen a rise in vehicle mishaps involving military members and local nationals. That in itself is not out of the ordinary. But what is alarming is the severity.
Driving within or out of city limits can be challenging when dealing with motorcycles and mopeds, especially when they weave in and out of traffic. One thing motorists may not know in regards to passing two-wheeled vehicles is that the motorists must allow at least one and a half meters (five feet) between the vehicle and cyclist/motorist in accordance with German law. A traffic lane is approximately 2.5 meters (8 feet) wide. So, that means, when passing you should be in the other lane to maintain safe separation.
According to AE Pamphlet 190-34 and USAFE Pamphlet 31-206, “Drivers Handbook and Examination Manual for Germany,” Americans can drive safely in Europe if they learn to react quickly to local traffic signs and to anticipate the actions of other drivers.
Most accidents can be avoi
• Driving sober and always being alert.
• Driving defensively.
• Being alert and courteous, regardless of who has the right of way.
• Helping to prevent dangerous situations.
• Becoming familiar with local driving customs and laws.
• Maintaining vehicles in excellent mechanical condition.
As the summer days continue, it allows us to experience everything Germany and neighboring countries have to offer. So, be mindful that we must share the road with other people. Be on the lookout for cyclists, motorists, pedestrians, etc. One distraction can mean the difference between avoiding hitting someone or hurting another.
For further information on driving do’s and don’ts, visit www.hqusareur.army.mil/rmv/drivers_handbook.htm.