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Germany: Moderate Christmas Traffic Expected, Unless Snow and Ice Mess It Up

Germany’s General German Automobile Association (ADAC) says there will be more Christmas traffic on the country’s roads than there was last year. But the situation will not be as bad as in pre-Corona times. Bon voyage.

Berlin, December 18th, 2021 (The Berlin Spectator) — Decades ago, in 1988, Chris Rea recorded ‘Driving Home for Christmas’, a song that would be a big hit in Germany and all over the world, even though the idea was bad. Before Corona, hitting the Autobahn to ‘drive home for Christmas’ meant spending hours and hours in terrible traffic jams. The mess on the roads ended people’s Christmas mood and delayed Christmas dinners, and it was all Chris Rea’s fault. How long can a Christmas goose wait in the oven before it needs to be chewed and digested?

‘Christmas Market Traffic’

Because of Corona, those geese will likely be consumed on time this year. According to the ADAC, there will be more traffic in Germany than there was last Christmas, when a strict lockdown was in place. Back then, millions of Germans and expatriates refrained from travelling. This year, going places is legal, in spite of Germany’s high Corona infection numbers. Even going abroad is a possibility. It may not be recommended, also because more neighboring countries were just declared ‘High Risk Areas’, but people will travel. Quite a few travelers are on their way already. On the other hand, many Germans who used to go skiing will skip this tradition again, because of the pandemic.

But, there will likely be some traffic jams between now and January 2nd, 2022, especially in and around big cities. This has to do with ‘Christmas Market traffic’. Residents from states in which all Christmas markets were shut down, because of high infection numbers, do travel to neighboring states in which these markets are open. For instance, Brandenburgers come to Berlin for this reason.

Pure Genius

The weather might also cause congestion. As soon as there is snow and ice on the Autobahn, things will get ugly. On top of it all, construction sites will lead to traffic jams. There are a total of 787 of them on the German Autobahn, the ADAC says. Also, stretches of some Autobahnen (plural) are closed. which is an issue that will not exactly speed up the traffic. The A1 between is affected between Hürth and Erfttal. So is the A45 around Lüdenscheid and the A 66 around Wiesbaden.

Between the Autobahn junction Werntal and Schweinfurt/Bergrheinfeld, the A70 will be closed from today at 10:00 p.m. to tomorrow at 8:00 a.m., and between tomorrow night at 10:00 p.m. until Monday morning at 8:00 p.m… Yes, it is as great idea to do this around Christmas. Pure genius. In all cases, there are blue deviation signs that can be followed. The issue is that the deviations are usually crammed.

Neighboring Countries

In Germany’s neighboring countries, the traffic conditions are supposedly comparable. Moderate traffic is expected as long as the weather does not mess things up. The ADAC advises travelers to expect long waits at country borders, also because of Corona. Since France and Denmark will be ‘High Risk Areas’ from Sunday, crossing those borders will probably take time.

Other than that, firing up the Aston Martin and going on a Christmas trip should not be a problem, as long as motorists adhere to all rules, including Germany’s ‘situational obligation’ to use winter tires.

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