Driving in Austria


What do you think of the way people drive in Austria? How different is it from your home country?

Respecting the road safety rules, driving etiquette such as general courtesy, speed excess… what are the characteristics of the driving style in Austria?

Share with us the difficulties one may face when driving in Austria: peak hours, road conditions, accident, etc. and your advice to drive safely in the country.

Thank you in advance for participating,


Much of Europe is the same the way people drive. Austria is very different as they drive on the right and I am use to driving on the left back in the UK.

All i can say is that you take your life in your hands when driving in Austria.  I thought drivers were bad back home in NZ but here...... well,  ive been living just outside of Salzburg for 3 years now and have seen alot of crazyness on the roads.   Drivers here seem very impatient and arrogant.   Speed signs dont mean much, neither do indicators.   If the weather is anything other then perfect then people seem to just fall off the road?!  Winter is always fun to watch.... people are genuinely shocked when it hits..... like it doesnt happen every year?!
Dont get me wrong, Austrians are lovely people.... until you put them behind the wheel.

My only message to the other drivers is: Forget about yourself for a second and think about those whom you are SHARING the road with.

Oh Boy now I can really get onto my soapbox and wade into this one!
Completely agree with Rob on every point and may risk reiterating in the following rant ..

Austrian society is generally a collection of lovely people who are charming, helpful,  considerate and polite - UNTIL YOU PUT THEM BEHIND THE STEERING WHEEL OF A MOTOR VEHICLE, THAT IS!!!!  I thought the drivers back in NZ were bad but these Austrians raise the bar considerably!

I have experience driving HGV, Motorcycle and Car in many countries in the world and never have I seen such arrogance and impatience.  They even seem to make a sport out of it as in these 3 examples..

GAME 1)  Driving along the autobahn at 130km (in the CORRECT RH lane I might add). 
-  In the rear mirrors I see a distant car driving the around the same speed in the LH (OVERTAKING - not "cruising at 2km above the speed limit" lane) lane not overtaking anything.
-  Ahead is a slow moving vehicle so I plan to overtake in good time so maintaining a safe stopping distance in front of me, check my mirrors and see that Mr Cruiser behind me has picked up the pace (therefore speeding), yet still a safe distance  behind to allow me to enter the LH lane to make the overtakeand.
-  I signal my intention with left indicator and check my mirrors before the manouvre and find that Mr Cruiser has inceased his speed even further thus removing my safe gap and forcing me to brake as he has trapped me in my lane and am stuck behind the slow moving vehicle until he has passed us both.
-  Once level with the slow moving vehicle he lowers his speed similar to the slow moving vehicle and eases casually past it and chalks up another victim on his dashboard. Bonus points are scored for my brake lights remaining lit for longer than 3 seconds.
-  The result of this is that to avoid being the victim of this dangerous sport in future,  I learn to move to the overtaking lane much sooner than necessary so I am not forced to brake or become trapped in the RH lane.
-  Mr Cruisers alternative technique is to increase his speed in order to be able to hitch a ride in my boot throughout the manouvre.  He throws me a filthy look when I return to the RH lane as he passes , and then continue his journey again at the legal limit in the RH lane until he finds his next victim.

GAME 2)  Junctions.  I'm driving through town at 50km approaching a distant side road with a vehicle stopped and waiting to join the main flow of traffic. 
-  Apart from my vehicle, the road is clear in both directions and there's plenty of time for him to pull out safely in front of me, accelerate ahead and continue safely without the need for me to adjust my speed or direction.
-  He waits and waits until the distance is no longer safe to pull out, then pulls out causing me to brake or swerve or both.
-  Extra points are scored if he can pull out into my lane in this manner, only s-l-o-w-l-y -  and then continue at a slow speed.
-  Bonus points if he can pull out in this manner AND now reveal he is also towing a trailer.

GAME 3) Roudabouts.  I'm just entered a single lane roundabout with the intention to take the 3rd (9 O'clock) exit and the rule states i must be signalling left,  and then switch to the right indicator as I pass the exit before the one I wish to take (IE as I pass the 12 o'clock exit i will then indicate to the right).
-  The car at or approaching the 12 o'clock exit intending to join the roundabout MUST give way to vehicles ON the roundabout, but what actually happens is he will wait and wait to see how close I can get before suddenly pulling out, 
-  Points are scored by how much I brake or swerve, Bonus points for pulling out slowly or for being able to affect the car following behind me ON the roundabout.
-  Super bonus points to the lady the other day who pulled out from the 9 o'clock entry onto a roundabout that was full of vehicles from just after the 12o'clock exit, thus blocking that exit, (which I and the 2 cars behind were signalling to take, but couldn't thus causing the 9o'clock AND 6 o'clock exits to block IE the WHOLE roundabout!!!  UNbelieveable!!!

Further examples (all from cars with the "A" on their rego plate) I could go on about-
-  driving against the posted flow of traffic to steal parking spaces,
-  idiotic parking angles (although I have seen a fiat 500 parked at such an angle in a marked park place at Spar so that the neighbouring car driver had to get in his car from the passenger side!)
-  not letting in JUST ONE vehicle ahead of them from traffic queing on side roads in order to keep traffic flowing.
-  squeezing past bicycles/mopeds/joggers when driving though traffic islands
-  oncoming traffic on mountain roads with solid white lines using at least half of my lane
-  "Use of indicators in all situations is optional, but should be discouraged, if not ignored"

I was shocked at how much extra it costs here for car insurance compared to both the UK and NZ, but having driven here for just over a year I can see why.  Admittedly this is not helped by price fixing and the lack of competition from within the Insurance company Mafia

Thanks you for your time.  Take your time and safe driving - think of and be considerate to others and the positive driving culture may spread


Standing ovation!!!