Take time to review your APP
Index of safety plan (under construction)
Check out Washington's workers' compensation Rates Watch for information on why it's important to manage your workers' compensation claims.
Tune up your safety plan
First, look back over the previous year and review the activities you carried out. Then, to keep your safety program effective, review the past year to make sure that your program includes best practices and then see what you might need to add.
Were new employees:
What about your safety committee or safety meetings? Did you document the issues your employees brought up and track them to resolution? Were minutes of the meetings prepared and attendance taken? Each of these activities demonstrates management’s involvement and support for safety.
Does your safety program need changes? Based on research on distracted driving, the U.S. Department of Transportation recently banned texting while driving a truck or bus. Does your company have a policy on this and other forms of distracted driving? If not, perhaps now is the time to draft one and implement it. Ask your drivers to give you feedback on the policy to make it better.
You could just continue with the status quo for your safety program, but then your program falters and becomes harder to maintain. Just like keeping your fleet in tune for best performance, a tune up of your safety program keeps it effective.
Seven rules for driving on the autobahn
The autobahn in Germany, Austria and Switzerland can be a fun, fast way to reach your destination – or a frustrating traffic jam (Stau) experience. This guide is designed to help you make your autobahn experience as positive as possible. Below we present our “German Way Autobahn Rules” – the most important rules of the road for driving on the autobahn and other European limited-access highways.
The Rules of the Autobahn
If you are used to driving on interstate highways and freeways in the US, you need to know about the differences between US traffic laws and those in Germany and Europe. When driving in Germany, you need to drive like a German – at least like the good German drivers. That means not only knowing the rules (official and unofficial), but adapting to a different style of driving. Europeans, Germans in particular, have a more aggressive approach to driving. If you remain a typical, more laid-back American driver, you could have problems. You also need to be alert and pay even more attention to the road than required in the US. The high-speed autobahn is no place to make mistakes!
Environmental Zones • Low Emission Zones (LEZ) • Umweltzonen
A 2006 anti-air-pollution law began a process that now requires drivers in Germany to have a special environmental sticker (Umweltplakette) on their car in order to enter the “green zone” of many German cities and towns.
This law applies to anyone driving in Germany, whether a resident or a foreigner. Even if the car meets German/EU pollution standards, a driver can still be fined if there is no sticker on the car’s windshield. If you have a rental car, make sure it has the proper sticker before you try to drive into a city center with environmental restrictions. You’ll see a sign similar to the one pictured above.
German lawmakers passed the 2006 law after Germany failed to meet EU pollution standards for fine particulates (Feinstaub). Three German cities (Berlin, Cologne, Hanover) first introduced restricted environmental zones in January 2008. Since then, more and more cities and towns all across Germany have been added to the list of places that have Umweltzonen, and that list will grow in coming years. (See a partial list at the end of this article.)
Green Means Go
A sign will indicate which color sticker a vehicle must have in order to enter the environmental zone. Most newer cars with a catalytic converter will qualify for a green sticker, but the sticker must be on the car’s windshield in order to avoid a 40 euro fine. Whether your car can pass a pollution test or not is irrelevant. No sticker, no entry!
Cities with Environmental Zones (Partial List)
Many other German cities will introduce environmental zones in coming years. For a current list and map of cities, see: www.umwelt-plakette.de (in English). Other EU nations are also introducing low emission zones. For more, see Low Emission Zones in the EU (www.lowemissionzones.eu, includes Germany). See more related web links below.
For Americans and Canadians, driving in Europe presents no great difficulty, only some minor differences. Especially on the Autobahn, North American drivers need to be aware of a few variations in the rules of the road, but otherwise it’s not that different from driving in Canada or the USA. Our “Driving” pages tell you what you need to know to be a happy driver in German-speaking Europe.
Driving in Austria
Driving in Germany
Driving in Switzerland
Although Germany began charging an autobahn toll for trucks in 2003, passenger car drivers can still drive the Autobahn without any extra charges (so far). But neighboring Austria and Switzerland (plus France and other European countries) charge a Maut, or toll, for using their high-speed, limited access highways.
The Autobahn Toll Sticker
An Austrian or Swiss “Vignette” must be displayed on a car’s windshield. (Motorcycles are also subject to the autobahn sticker requirement. Trucks pay a kilometer-based toll.) Motorists entering Austria or Switzerland without a vignette must purchase one or be subject to heavy fines (see below). You’re okay if you stay off the autobahn or Schnellstraßen (limited-access roads), but that’s not easy to do. If you’re lucky, your rental car may already have one. If not, you will have to contribute 40 Swiss francs to the Swiss treasury upon entering that country. As in the USA, ignorance of the law is no excuse.
Unlike Switzerland, Austria permits drivers to purchase an Autobahnvignette for various periods of time, from ten days to a full year. The so-called Mautvignette (toll sticker) must be affixed to the inside of the front windshield. The stickers come in varying colors in different years, making it easier for the police to spot an invalid Autobahnpickerl, Austrian slang for “autobahn sticker.” To prevent misuse, the stickers are also designed to tear apart if removed from the window glass.
Prices for an Austrian passenger-car vignette range from 8.00 euros (ca. $10) for a 10-day sticker to 77.80 euros ($96) for a year (for vehicles up to 3.5 tons).* Motor homes and large vehicles over 3.5 tons must have a so-called “GO-Box” that tracks your actual mileage. If you are caught without one, the fine is 220 euros. Motorists can obtain a GO-Box at the border for a five-euro fee. You can buy an Austrian or Swiss auto vignette at gas stations, border crossings, or post offices. It is also possible to purchase a Swiss autobahn sticker in advance, online from the German postal service (Deutsche Post), from automobile clubs, and the Swiss Tourism office in London. Tip: Sometimes people sell extra, unused vignettes on eBay or other online auction sites.
In addition to the normal autobahn sticker, there are tolls for several stretches on the Austrian highway network. Examples include the Brenner Pass autobahn (€8.00), the Tauern autobahn (€10.00), and the Arlberg tunnel (€8.50). Driving through the Felbertauern tunnel costs €10.00, while the scenic Großglockner Alpine road will set you back €26.00. (Prices subject to change.)
In Switzerland, drivers caught driving on the autobahn without a sticker have to pay a fine of 100 Swiss francs plus 40 francs for the vignette (a total of about $144 USD).*
The Autobahn from the driver's view
The Autobahn is the pinnacle of the German driving experience, perhaps the ultimate in driving altogether. Virtually all of the world's serious drivers have heard of it and longed to take their shot at conquering it. Teutonic cars are known for their precise engineering and craftsmanship; the Autobahn completes the driving equation.
Some people are disappointed the first time they drive on the Autobahn. They come with visions of a twenty-lane superhighway where cars are barely a blur as they whiz by. In reality, the Autobahn looks like a typical freeway, and despite rumors to the contrary, not everyone is hurtling along at the speed of sound. The stories of speed anarchy are only half correct-- many sections of Autobahn do in fact have speed limits.
Still, the Autobahn offers the transcendent driving experience. The roads are superbly designed, built and maintained, even now in the east where the German government had to undo 40 years of Communist "maintenance". Amenities are numerous, and drivers are well-trained and cooperative. It's literally life in the fast lane on the Autobahn. (Don't tell me you didn't see that coming. <g>)
What is widely regarded as the world's first motorway was built in Berlin between 1913 and 1921. The 19 km long AVUS ("Automobil-Verkehrs- und Übungsstraße") in southwestern Berlin was an experimental highway that was (and occasionally still is) used for racing. It featured two 8 meter lanes separated by a 9 meter wide median. Italy built several expressways in the 1920s and Germany followed with its first "auto-only roads" opening in 1929 between Düsseldorf and Opladen and in 1932 between Cologne and Bonn. More routes were planned in the early '30s and Adolf Hitler, seeing the propaganda benefits of a high-speed road system, started a program to build two north-south and east-west links. The first of these Reichsautobahnen opened on May 19th, 1935, between Frankfurt and Darmstadt. At the end of World War II, the Autobahn network totaled 2,128 km. Construction on new sections finally started again in 1953, with 144 km added between 1953 and 1958, bringing the total to 2,272 km. Starting in 1959, West Germany began Autobahn expansion in earnest by embarking on a series of four-year plans that expanded the Bundesautobahnen system to 3,076 km by 1964. Major additions continued during the next two decades and the system reached 4,110 km in 1970, 5,258 km in 1973, 6,207 km in 1976, 7,029 km in 1979, and 8,080 km in 1984. A new series of five-year plans, with the goal of putting an Autobahn entrance within 10 km of any point in West Germany, had expanded the net to over 8,800 km by 1990. The reunification of Germany in 1990, however, put those plans on hold as the federal government focused on absorbing and upgrading the Autobahns it inherited from East Germany. The incorporation of those eastern Autobahns put the total Autobahn network at almost 11,000 km in 1992. Additions to the unified network increased the total to 11,515 km in 2000 and 12,531 km in 2007. Until 2000, the Autobahn was the world's second largest superhighway system after only the US Interstate System. Today, however, the Autobahn network is the world's fourth largest singular superhighway system after China, the United States, and Spain.
Map of current Autobahn network
Early Autobahns were rather crude by today's standards. The first Autobahns, like their Italian counterparts, featured limited-access and grade-separated crossings, but no medians. The first Reichsautobahnen did have narrow medians but lacked shoulders, and ramps and waysides had cobblestone surfaces. When Germany was reunified in 1989, the Autobahns of East Germany were in virtually the same condition as they were in 1945, exhibiting the aforementioned qualities as well as inadequate signing, infrequent (and often non-functional) emergency telephones frequently located in the center median, and service areas consisting of a dilapidated roadhouse next to a wayside. Newer West German Autobahns had for many years featured 3.75 meter wide lanes, shoulders, landscaped medians with crash barriers, frequent roadside emergency telephones, and ample, well-adorned service areas. After reunification, the German government expedited upgrading of the old East German Autobahns in a series of "German Unity Transport Projects." By the end of 2009, the program was nearly completed with about 2,100 km of upgraded or newly-built Autobahn.
Typical section of Autobahn
The general rule for design is to provide for unimpeded, high-speed traffic flow. Unimproved older segments aside, most Autobahns feature the following design elements:
In addition, Autobahns also feature the following amenities:
Maintenance is superb. Crews inspect every square meter of the system periodically using vehicles with high-tech road scanning equipment. When a fissure or other defect is found, the entire road section is replaced. Signs, barriers, and other features are also well maintained.
Tunnels and bridges
Autobahn tunnel (left) and valley bridge (right)
To safely facilitate heavy, high-speed traffic, special laws apply when driving on the Autobahn:
In addition to the official laws, most drivers follow the following customs:
Four-lane Autobahn section
Despite the widespread belief of complete freedom from speed limits (and a lobbying effort that has the same influence and deep pockets as the American gun lobby), some speed regulations can be found on the Autobahns. Many sections do indeed have permanent or dynamic speed limits ranging from 80 to 130 km/h (50-80 mph), particularly those with dangerous curves, in urban areas, near major interchanges, or with unusually constant heavy traffic. In construction zones, the limit may be as low as 60 km/h (37 mph). Also, some sections now feature nighttime and wet-weather speed restrictions, and trucks are always regulated (see table below). That said, about two-thirds of the Autobahn network has no permanent speed limit, although there is always an advisory limit of 130 km/h (81 mph). This recommendation is generally seen for what it is-- an attempt by the government to cover itself without having to upset millions of Porsche and BMW owners/voters. However, if you exceed the advisory limit and are involved in an accident, you could be held responsible for some of the damages even if you are not at fault.
Vehicles that are limited to a lower speed limit will usually have a decal resembling a speed limit sign displayed on the back of a vehicle indicating the speed it is authorized to travel depending on its specific characteristics. In some cases, those vehicles may be authorized to travel slower or faster than the general limit and will display the appropriate decal indicating such.
Over 3,200 km of Autobahn now feature dynamic speed limits which are adjusted to respond to traffic, weather, and road conditions. These speed limits and conditions are indicated using a rather elaborate system of electronic signs (see below).
A movement by the environmentalist Green party to enact a national speed limit has not made great strides. The Greens claim that the high speeds contribute to air pollution which has caused widespread Waldsterben, or forest destruction. As a result, some Autobahns in forest areas have seen new limits imposed, but a national limit remains unlikely, as demonstrated during the coalition government negotiations in 1998. In those talks between the then-new Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrat party and the Greens, one of the final points to be resolved was the Greens' desire for a nationwide 100 km/h speed limit on the Autobahns. In the end, a compromise was struck whereby energy taxes would be raised and local governments could reduce speed limits on city streets, but no national Autobahn speed limit would be implemented. Subsequent discussions by various groups of a possible blanket limit have met with immediate and formidable political resistance.
A national speed limit of 100 km/h (60 mph) was enacted in November 1973 during the energy crisis. It was repealed less than four months later.
In 2008, the federal city-state of Bremen enacted a 120 km/h speed limit on all Autobahns in that state, the first and thus far only federal state to do so. However, in practice, this only affected 6 km of Autobahn as the remainder of the 60 km of Autobahn in that state already had speed limits in place.
"End of all restrictions" sign, indicating the end of all
Because of Germany's location in central Europe, traffic on the Autobahn is generally quite heavy. In 2008, motorists logged a staggering 225.3 billion kilometers on the Autobahn, averaging almost 50,000 vehicles per day on any given segment. As a result, traffic jams (Stau) occur frequently on the Autobahn, especially on Fridays, Sundays, holidays, and anytime after an accident or during bad weather or construction. Regional traffic reports, with a variety of names including Verkehrsmeldungen, Verkehrsdienst, Verkehrsfunk, and Stauschau, are excellent and are provided on most radio stations. Germany is divided into several traffic reporting regions (Verkehrsrundfunkbereich); signs along the road indicate the local radio stations carrying the traffic reports for the region you are in. You will need to have a working knowledge of German to understand them, though.
In addition to radio traffic reports, many sections of Autobahn are equipped with traffic monitoring systems and electronic signs (see below) to warn of downstream incidents or congestion and to provide a controlled reduction in the speed of traffic as it approaches the jam. On sections without electronic signs, the Autobahn police (Autobahnpolizei) do an excellent job of warning of unexpected jams via portable roadside signs, signs mounted on police cars parked along the shoulder, or on banners draped from overpasses. Traffic information is also available from several other resources including the websites of radio and TV stations, auto clubs, and government agencies, and increasingly through on-board telematics systems.
Typical weekend and holiday Autobahn traffic
A couple of notes about traffic reports: sometimes the "traffic report" may include information that has nothing to do with traffic such as emergency alerts, police bulletins, etc. Also, if you have a German rental car with a cassette or CD player, don't be surprised if your favorite tape or disc is interrupted by reports of a Stau somewhere-- German radio tuners continue to monitor the last-selected radio station even when a tape or CD is being played. Radio stations broadcast a special tone at the start of traffic reports which causes the tuner to switch the audio from the tape or CD to the radio so that you can hear the information. Traffic reports use one of several terms to describe varying levels of congestion: "Stau" usually means a colossal traffic jam where you'll probably get to know the people in the cars around you, "stockender Verkehr" indicates the only slightly more tolerable stacking or slow-and-go type traffic, while "dichter Verkehr" or "zähfliesender Verkehr" denotes the hardly-noteworthy heavy or sluggish but moving traffic.
As a stopgap measure to help improve traffic flow, traffic is now being permitted to use the emergency shoulder as a traffic lane during congested periods along some sections of Autobahn. Lane control signals, signs, or other cars doing so indicate when this is permissible.
Congested Autobahn with shoulder open to traffic
Construction & closures
Autobahn maintenance and improvements don't escape the German penchant for obsessiveness. As a result, construction zones (Baustelle) are frequent and widespread. The standard protocol for large projects is a traffic shift-- the lanes for both directions are narrowed and crammed onto one side of the Autobahn so that the other side can be worked on in its entirety. Such situations are well-marked with signs and speed limits are usually reduced greatly in these areas.
Autobahn construction area
Note the yellow road markings. These supersede all regular markings in work zones.
In the event that a segment of Autobahn must be closed due to an accident or other emergency, pre-posted provisional detours are ready to guide traffic around the closure. As you exit, look for the U-numbered detour sign on the exit ramp-- this denotes the detour route for that exit. Follow the same-numbered route over the secondary roads and you'll eventually arrive at the next downstream entrance ramp. If that entrance is also closed, just follow the next sequential detour number to reach the next entrance after that. However, there is one small gotcha-- odd numbers continue in one direction, even numbers in the opposite direction. So if you're following an odd numbered route, be sure to follow the next sequential odd number (and, obviously the same goes for even-numbered routes.) These routes also come in quite handy if your patience runs-out and you want to get around a Stau.
The Autobahn has an extensive system of service areas (Rasthof, Raststätte) generally spaced between 40 and 60 kilometers apart. These usually feature a fuel station (Tankstelle), restaurant or snack bar, convenience store, telephones, and restrooms. Many also feature hotels, showers, playgrounds, conference rooms, and chapels. There are over 700 service areas in operation and they're open 24 hours a day. A brochure with maps and charts showing the network of service areas and the facilities available at each can be obtained at any service area and is also available on the web (see links below).
Autobahn service area
Signs announcing the approach of a service area give the name of the service area, the distance to it, and one or more pictograms indicating the services available there:
Smaller parking areas, many equipped with restrooms (WC), are even more abundant along the Autobahn. These are marked with signs like the one below.
Approach sign for parking area w/ WC
The past couple of decades has seen the proliferation of service facilities (mainly fuel stations and fast-food restaurants) just off Autobahn exit ramps. Especially increasing in popularity are truck stops (Autohof). These generally offer facilities comparable to the service areas, but usually at considerably lower prices. Most are now marked by special signs on the Autobahn like the one below.
Autohof announcement sign
Signs & markings
Signage on the Autobahn is excellent. All direction signs on the Autobahn as well as those giving directions to the Autobahn are white on blue. Signage before interchanges is standard both in form and placement.
Overhead signs are being used increasingly more frequently. These signs generally take on the forms shown in the various pictures below. Note that the route number shields are typically located at the bottom of the signs rather than at the top like in the US. Drivers should also be aware that unlike the US, directions on the Autobahn (as well as other roads) are not given using the cardinal directions (North, South, East, West), but rather by destination cities. Know what the major cities are along your route before you start out. A helpful idiosyncrasy is the tendency to list major cities on signs on connecting Autobahns that lead toward another Autobahn route that will actually take you to that city. The most important cities start appearing on signs hundreds of kilometers away. One other peculiarity is that when several cities are listed, the farthest city is generally listed first or on top; in the US, it's usually the opposite. The last place listed is usually the name of the next exit. Finally, you may come across names that include a one or two letter abbreviation (e.g. "S-Degerloch" or "HH-Zentrum"); these correspond to the official license plate registration city abbreviations and indicate an exit for a district or other destination in that city. So "S-Degerloch" would be the exit for "Stuttgart-Degerloch" while "HH-Zentrum" denotes "Hamburg-Zentrum", or downtown Hamburg.
Autobahns bear a one, two, or three digit number with an "A" prefix (e.g. A ; however, the "A" is not shown on signs. The one and two digit numbers indicate mainline routes; three digit routes are spurs. Route numbers are assigned by region (e.g. the area around Munich is region 9, so most Autobahns in that area start with 9) and even-numbered routes generally run east-west while odd-numbered routes north-south. Route numbers for spurs and connectors usually start with the parent number followed by an additional digit or two to make three digits total (e.g. the A831 branches off of the A8; the A241 branches off of the A24.) Route markers are an oblong white and blue hexagon:
Here are the main signs you will encounter:
Signs and Signals page
for complete information on German road signs and markings.
Typical lane markings
During the past couple of decades, German traffic engineers have developed sophisticated traffic control systems to manage traffic along many Autobahns and urban expressways. These automated systems consist of surveillance cameras, speed monitors, and special electronic variable message signs, as well as equipment to detect and automatically warn of fog, rain, and ice. The primary intent of these systems is to gradually and systematically reduce the speed of traffic approaching or driving through areas with congestion, construction, or hazardous weather conditions. Studies have shown that these systems have reduced accidents by as much as 30% within three years of being installed. The first such system was tested in the early '80s on the A8/A81 near Stuttgart and has since been expanded to over 1,300 km of Autobahn, especially those subject to frequent congestion or dangerous weather conditions, as well as in and approaching tunnels. These systems have also been installed on several non-Autobahn urban expressways, and the government is spending €40 million a year to continue their expansion.
Autobahn electronic signs showing 100 km/h speed limit and construction ahead
While you will find some electronic signs that just show plain text messages (similar to those in use in the US), most of the systems in use display facsimiles of official traffic signs. These allow authorities to use the standard pictogram signs to warn of downstream conditions or to implement dynamic regulations. A common use is the temporary implementation or reduction of speed limits to respond to traffic, road, or weather conditions. Occasionally, these speed limits are set per lane. It is important to obey the speed limits indicated by these signs and you will find that the limits shown are generally very appropriate for the prevailing traffic or weather conditions. It should be noted that the speed limits and other regulations shown are indeed enforceable, and many areas are also equipped with photo radar that is integrated with the system (and thus is aware of the current speed limit). The signs can also indicate lane closures using the standard international lane control symbols. Below are examples of these electronic signs.
In addition to the symbols above, the following word messages are used, usually in conjunction with the "danger" sign:
In addition to marking lanes closed by accidents or construction, lane control signals are used in some areas to close lanes to help reduce congestion at interchanges. For instance, if there is significantly heavier traffic merging from Autobahn 1 onto Autobahn 2, the right lane on Autobahn 2 will be closed to provide an unobstructed lane for the heavier traffic to merge into.
Electronic signs showing left lane closed ahead and 100km speed limit in open lanes
When different speed limits are shown on a single gantry, the limit shown applies to the lane under the sign. In the example below, the speed limit in the left lane would be 120 km/h, 100 km/h in the center lane, and 80 km/h in the right lane.
Over 1,700 km of Autobahn are part of dynamic alternate route systems. These systems employ changeable guide signs which, when activated, display recommended alternate route guidance to help drivers avoid congestion. Some areas employ "substitutive routing" where the destinations shown on the standard blue guide signs are changed using mechanical panels to re-route traffic onto different routes. In other areas, "additive routing" is utilized. In this case, the regular blue guide signs are static, but additional white signs with changeable panels and the big orange "alternate route" arrow symbol are used. The arrow points in the recommended direction to follow along with the destination city, route number, or vehicle types (e.g. trucks) that the suggested alternate route applies to. For instance, in the picture below, traffic headed to Deggendorf and the Munich airport is being advised to exit in 1200 meters and follow the A99 and A92. Once you are on one of these alternate routes, continue to follow alternate route arrow signs until you have reached your destination or have returned to the original route. Note that many times much of the alternate route is marked by permanent static signs, but a dynamic sign is used at the initial "decision point".
Changeable sign showing recommended alternate route
In the event of an accident, breakdown, or other emergency along the Autobahn, you are never more than a kilometer away from help. Emergency telephones (Notrufsäule) are located at 2 km intervals along the sides of the road. The direction to the nearest phone is indicated by small arrows atop the roadside reflector posts. In long tunnels, emergency phones are located in refuge rooms every 100-200 meters.
The emergency phone system was privatized a decade ago. All calls go to a central call center in Hamburg. In the event of an accident, dispatchers there will immediately connect the caller to the nearest police or emergency services office. For breakdowns, the dispatcher will obtain the information necessary to send the appropriate service. This may include the "Yellow Angels" of the ADAC or AvD auto club, a tow truck, or an insurance, dealership, or rental car repair service. Roadside assistance is free, but you'll likely have to pay for parts. If you need to be towed, there is no charge to remove the vehicle from the Autobahn, but you will have to pay for towing beyond that. If you're driving a rental car, all services should be covered by the rental agency. Depending on the time of day, volume of calls, and traffic conditions, response time for a breakdown may vary from a few minutes to possibly over an hour.
There are now two varieties of emergency phones in use. On the older phones, you will find a cover with a handle. Lift the cover all the way and wait for a dispatcher to answer. The newer phones don't have a cover; instead, they have an external speaker/microphone area with two buttons that you can press to connect you to the appropriate dispatcher. There is a yellow button with a wrench symbol for reporting a breakdown and a red button with a red cross to report an accident. Press the appropriate button and wait for a reply. In most cases, the location of the phone is transmitted automatically when your call is connected. If not, you will need to give the dispatcher the kilometer location of the phone as indicated on a label on the inside of the cover or near the speaker and your direction of travel. For an accident, report the number of vehicles involved and any injuries. For a breakdown, be prepared to report the vehicle's license number, make and model, color, and your auto club, insurance company, or rental agency. An English-speaking dispatcher is usually available.
Man demonstrating how to use an
After calling, return to your vehicle or the accident scene and wait for help. For breakdowns, someone will arrive shortly to assist you. In the event of an accident, a cavalry of emergency aid will descend on you. Police, fire service, ambulances, and emergency doctors all respond to Autobahn crashes. A medical evacuation helicopter is also always on standby.
Alternatively, you can contact the emergency call center via mobile phone at 0800 6683 663.