“Most of this isn’t particularly unique to Germany (except the famous end of speed restriction on the Autobahn and the standard speed limits in different areas). Germany mostly follows the Vienna Convention standard signs, as opposed to the American/Japanese/Australian ones which have different colors and shapes and often use text instead of symbols.”
“I love that the German word for a traffic sign is ,,das Schild” (“shield”). Makes me think of knights and turtles.”
“I found this very interesting. I wonder how strictly Germans obey das Stopp-Schild. In the USA we have identical stop signs, but most drivers just treat them like a Vorfahrt gewären Schild. They will slow down and check for cross traffic, but won’t usually come to a complete stop unless they see someone coming.
Interestingly, we also have a sign that looks exatly like the Vorfahrt gewären Schild, except that it says YIELD in the middle. It basically means the same thing. However, because most drivers treat the stop sign like a yield sign, some people will be even less careful at a yield sign, which can be very dangerous.
My hometown recently replaced all of the yield signs with stop signs because of this. There is no equivalent to the Vorfahrtsstrasse-Schild in the USA. If an intersection does not have a stop sign (or yield sign or stop-light or similar) then you can assume that you have the right of way, because there will be a stop sign (or similar) on the intersecting road.
The closest thing to a Vorfahrtsstrasse-Schild in the USA would be a green light an intersection. You only see this at intersections with high traffic, where the priority road constantly changes, such as on a highway, or a town’s main street. As for speed limits, our signs look very different, but the speeds are very similar (after the conversion to MPH). I also wonder how strictly Germans obey speed limits, because in the USA you can usually go 5-10 MPH faster without getting pulled over, at least in my experience.”