Why doesn’t the US have freeways with no general speed limit, like the German autobahn?

Marc Hoag
2 min readApr 19, 2017

So I usually cross-post to Medium only my best (read: favorite) Quora Answers (regardless of how many upvotes they received), but for some reason, my answer to this question has by far the most upvotes from anything I’ve ever written: a whopping 2.5K as of April 2017. Well, that’s “whopping” for me, anyway: despite being a 2x Top Writer, none of my answers have this many upvotes. Go figure.

So here it is in its original form, entirely unedited, if only because, well, people seem to like what I’ve written here.

In more or less decreasing order of importance, why America cannot handle high-speed autobahn-type freeways:

  1. Car control. It’s too easy to get a driver’s license in America, i.e., formal car control courses are not required and are required for speeds greater than 70 or 80 mph / 130 kph. Car dynamics change radically once you start to exceed 90 and 100 mph / 140–160 kph, especially with respect to suspension (bumps) and aerodynamics, especially in cars that aren’t properly designed for high-speed driving. To wit: it is far more difficult to get a driver’s license in Germany.
  2. Driving etiquette and rules. In addition to formal car control classes, proper driving etiquette and rules need to be enforced beyond merely “signal to switch lanes,” “look over shoulder,” etc. For example: “left lane for passing ONLY.” A big reason the autobahn works in Germany is because people religiously…