On holiday trips by car, progress is often slow in places - sometimes it comes to a standstill for good. But even then, some rules apply.
A trip by car on holiday should always be well planned. Before starting, you should gather all the necessary documents and also roughly check the technology of the car. A look at the level of the wiper fluid and checking the tire pressure are a must. And if you don't want to experience a nasty surprise financially, you should also take into account the tolls that are due in many European countries in advance. Of course, it is also advisable to choose days for arrival and departure on which the largest avalanche of sheet metal does not roll off. Of course, this is not possible for every holidaymaker - and you end up in a traffic jam again. When the time comes, there are a few things to keep in mind.
U-turn in a traffic jam on the motorway? There is only one situation when it is not prohibited
Occasionally you are happy that things are going really well - but after the next bend the traffic jam lurks. Such bad luck, because the last descent is only a few hundred meters behind. If you now come up with the idea of simply turning around or reversing back to the next exit: just don't! This is not only prohibited (according to StVO § 18 paragraph), but life-threatening. There is only one exception where you are allowed to turn around on the motorway – and that is if the police explicitly ask you to do so.
When the travel season begins, traffic jams on many motorways in Germany. (Symbolic image) © Jöran Steinsiek/Imago
Standstill on the motorway: In the event of a traffic jam, getting out is actually not allowed according to the StVO
Especially in long traffic jams, you can often observe it: people get out of their cars and go for a walk on the highway. After a long ride and in high heat, you can understand the need for some exercise – but it's not allowed. Section 18 (9) of the Road Traffic Act (StVO) states: "Pedestrians are not allowed to enter motorways." An exception would be, for example, the securing of an accident site. According to ADAC, however, the police often turn a blind eye to prolonged traffic jams. However, the automobile club advises against long walks.
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Use hard shoulder to move forward in traffic jams? Anyone who does this risks a fine
As soon as traffic on the motorway comes to a standstill, you are allowed to overtake on the right under certain conditions. However, it is important to always form an emergency lane in good time. And the hard shoulder is reserved for breakdown vehicles. Anyone who uses it to meander past the stationary traffic to the next exit or parking lot on the right must expect a fine of at least 75 euros and one point in Flensburg. There is also an exception in this case: when traffic signs specifically allow the use of the hard shoulder.
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By the way, as long as you are stuck in a traffic jam and the engine is running, the driver is also prohibited from using the smartphone without a hands-free system. Anyone who does not comply risks a fine of at least 100 euros, two points in Flensburg and a one-month driving ban.