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Record 745,000 traffic jams on Germany's Autobahn last year

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Record 745,000 traffic jams on Germany's Autobahn last year
Vehicles caught in congestion in July 2018 in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg. Photo: DPA
08:58 CET+01:00
Germany's Autobahn system is known as one of the best in the world, complete with unrestricted speed limits in some sections. So you might be surprised to hear that there's a lot of waiting around in traffic queues too.

A record 745,000 traffic jams were recorded on Germany's motorways last year, the ADAC (General German Automobile Club) reported Thursday.

On average, there were more than 2000 traffic jams per day nationwide. In total, the congestion database recorded almost three percent more traffic jams in 2018 than in the previous year.

The lengths of the queues faced by drivers also grew last year by about five percent and, according to the ADAC, equalled a total distance of about 1.5 million kilometers (km), the equivalent of 38 times round the earth.

Due to these jams, drivers were forced to a standstill for a whopping 459,000 hours - that's equal to about 52 years.

Experts cited the 0.4 percent increase in vehicle mileage - calculated by the Federal Highway Research Institute - and the 3 percent rise in the number of construction sites in 2018 compared to 2017 as possible reasons for the increase in congestion.

SEE ALSO: Eight things you never knew about the German Autobahn

NRW still worst for traffic congestion

When it comes to regions, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), the most populated state in Germany, continues to lead the ranking of the states with the most traffic jams. A total of 486,000 km of queues were recorded there - that's 35 percent of total congestion in Germany. NRW was followed by Bavaria (17 percent) and Baden-Württemberg (11 percent).

Meanwhile, the busiest traffic congestion day of 2018 was Thursday, June 28th. On this day summer holidays began in Bremen, Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. A huge 13,000 km of traffic congestion was recorded. This was followed by Thursday, June 21st and Wednesday October 31st, which was Reformation Day in some states.

In the course of the year there were also significant differences: June, October and November were the busiest months on the roads. In 2017, June and September were the months with the most congestion.

In the ranking of the most congested weekday, Wednesday has overtaken Thursday. On average, traffic jams measured 5,900 km on Wednesdays last year.

Those who were on the road at the weekends fared better. On average, there were around 1,500 km of traffic jams on Saturdays and around 1,400 km on Sundays.

When it comes to long-distance motorways, the A3 (Cologne - Frankfurt - Passau) again defended its top position with a huge 220 km of traffic jams last year (In 2017 that figure was 208 km). The A1 (Lübeck - Hamburg - Cologne) took second place for the first time with 214 km of congestion, followed by the A5 (Basel - Karlsruhe - Frankfurt) with 193 km.

 
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