Saw this pic over at CW’s place (part of his fantastic Open Road series) and I could not help be amazed at the fact that people adhered to the traffic circle even though it was covered with snow.

Then it occurred to me that  the picture was doubtless taken in Germany or one of the other OCD countries, and the lone tracks which do  bisect the circle were probably made by a lost American tourist.


  1. I drove a krankenwagen on the autobahns in the 70’s and I can say with authority that the german driving default is on a professional level that at least half of the american driving population simply could not achieve.

    Here’s another startling fact. When they came through our basic training group at Fort Knox and asked for the hands of everybody that held a drivers license out of 175 swingin’ dix only 3 people held up their hands – I was one of them.

    When I got my international driving license in 1975 I was told that the metric system would be implemented worldwide but the time I ETS’d 3 years later, so it’s best to learn it and get over it.

    To convert miles per hour to kilometers per hour = kph is about 5/8 of mph, or, a little more than half. Ex. 100 kph = about 62 mph. I remember looking at a speedometer in a Porsche Carrera and it went to 320 (kph).

  2. Thanks Kim. I grew up in – and learned to drive in – the People’s Republic of New Jersey. 50 years later the mere thought of a traffic circle makes me break out in a rash.

    1. The funniest sight in the world must be watching a NJ driver get to a European/British traffic circle, and discovering that the cars in the circle have right of way (which means that cars entering the circle have to yield) — the exact opposite of NJ traffic circles.
      The first time I drove from Newark to Manasquan, I went through three circles and nearly had four accidents.

      1. I read once that the rules for traffic circles in France gives right of way to the people entering the circle, so it’s hard for the cars in the circle to get out, and all those French comedies in the sixties with cars going around and around in the circles was based on fact. The article also mentioned possibly changing that law, but I don’t know if this has been done. There’s a lot of inertia and resistance to change, even among Leftists who are otherwise eager to change anything and everything.

  3. It may be that the snow reveals patterns that always are present — that sometimes traffic is light enough to permit driving , umm, sensibly.

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