The weird and not-so-wonderful things that end up on the Autobahn

autobahn austriaThe Autobahn is a big thing here in Austria. It’s long, it’s well used and it takes a lot of maintenance to keep everyone safe. So people are very diligent about reporting anything that might cause a disruption or be unsafe. With drivers travelling at 130km/h there is a good reason why. Not just for the ghost drivers (people driving the wrong way), but also for accidents, bad weather conditions, broken down vehicles and random things creating a hazard.

Like, for example, foreign objects. There is nothing more terrifying than coming around a bend at 130 to find a piece of ‘something’ on the road in front of you.

Not to make light of it, but more to praise the almost instantaneous way the radio and traffic authority tells us about these things, I do find myself intrigued about what might be found on the autobahn today.

The most common is a Ladegut which seems to be a generic term for an item that fell off a car or truck… or a Holzstuck  (piece of wood)… or a piece of tyre… and so on.

But then there are the things that are not only less common, but sometimes have me giggling and wondering how the hell they got there in the first place.

For example:

slideEine Rutsche (a slide)

Classic. What sort of slide? How long? God I do not want to come face to face with a slide on the autobahn. But one day, there was one.


Of course it’s quite common for animals to wander onto the autobahn, but can cause huge problems – I frequently hear about people, dogs and deer, but I have also heard the following somewhat out of the ordinary animals:

  • A horse
  • A fox
  • A group of wild boars
  • A family of ducks

And then there was…

peacockEin Pfau

This had me scratching my head. As it was being reported I could tell that even the presenters thought it was amusing. But I’d never heard this word before. I looked it up but couldn’t get the spelling right, so had to ask hubby. The answer – a peacock. And now I know why the radio presenters were giggling… just imagine a peacock parading around his beautiful tail at unsuspecting drivers.

5000 chickens

Not a happy story, but it’s still relevant to the theme of ‘strange things you find on the autobahn’. Following a ‘chicken transporting’ truck accident, unfortunately many of the poor little guys perished… though some of them did survive and snuck away to find a quiet patch of green to cluck in what I imagine was shock. The incident closed the autobahn for hours while they cleaned up and located the runaways.

A whole lot of corn

This was sadly, not for the aforementioned chickens. One day it was reported that ‘a whole lot of corn’ (that’s how I translated it) had fallen off a truck and spread over the autobahn. This is no laughing matter, being held up by corn for a few hours would be highly irritating.

sleeping bagA Schlafsack

Ah… just because it’s a funny word – there was once a lost sleeping bag on the autobahn.

A shovel

Then there was the day of the shovel.

A Kuhlschrank

This is the latest one I’ve heard, and it’s a terrifying thought. A fridge. That’s right, an entire fridge was lying on the autobahn. I only hope it was a bar-fridge, not a full sized.

So even though it’s no laughing matter, you can see why some of these made me chuckle. I am ever grateful that the traffic reports are constant and very up to date, so I am well aware of any hazards before I encounter them. Thanks guys, for keeping everyone safe!

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