Sunday, October 21, 2012

Ghost Driver

There's this term used by Germans, which basically means...."Ghost Driver".  For an American, it's an odd phrase, and needs some explanation.

To get onto a German autobahn....there's a entrance, and to get off....there is an exit.  Both have signs and it's more than obvious.

Well....there are Germans who typically drink a bit and aren't grasping the entrances.  So you have some guy who will enter an autobahn on the exit area, and then travel down the autobahn.  Sometimes....oncoming traffic will avoid the guy and things turn out ok.  Most of the time....someone crashes into the guy, and lives are lost.

As far as I know....there aren't statistics collected on this....or the cops just don't want to publish these.  If you asked me how often it occurs in Germany....I'd take a humble guess of six to ten times a year.

Are there people who commit suicide by ghost driving?  Yes.  This has occurred....once in fact by an American in the Kaiserslautern community.

So when you hear the odd phrase, and you've translated it ghost know the general meaning.


tooki said...

You said they don't publish statistics. But they do, and your "humble estimate" is a smidge off: in 2012, there were 1914 Geisterfahrer reports in Germany alone!!! :-O


Letters from Ripley said...

They wrote stat's....but this didn't get into Wiki or via ADAC until Jan 2013...check out the citations on the article. I wrote this blog in the fall of 2012, and nothing stood out in Wiki or anywhere else.

That's the problem with modern from two years ago simply isn't the full picture...things change.

tooki said...

I think you missed the main point of my comment... 1914 incidents. I am absolutely shocked that it happens so often.

Letters from Ripley said...

Well, statistically (I enjoy looking at number situations), this means that roughly five-to-six times a day....some ghost-driver situation occurs within the sixteen German states. I would say this...if California (which is same sizing and generally same population) had this kind of'd freak out the public there.

I think there three conditions in Germany which invite this. One...alcohol impairment is probably one of the contributors, although the ADAC guys don't break this out. Second is the complex nature of the autobahn system....where older drivers in unfamiliar areas, will screw up more often. Finally, I'd be wondering about legal prescription drug use in Germany.....which no one ever talks much about (big issue in Florida where car accidents are noted more often than most states).

You would think that ADAC would be curious about this and put some university student up for a one-year research project, to dig into police reports and come to some conclusions. Germans cops report facts....they rarely dig.

metargemet said...

It also has to do with the fact that there are far more foreign drivers on the road in Germany than in the States. Germany has borders with 10(?) different countries, not to mention the fact that you almost always have to drive through Germany to get to somewhere else in Europe.

tooki said...

metargemet: Why would that make any difference?? All of continental Europe drives on the same side of the road as Germany, so the same basic rules of the road apply. As for "the fact that you almost always have to drive through Germany"... so what? That is literally of no importance.