We Will not Generate on the Mistaken Side of the Highway, You Just Travel on the Correct

As a Brit abroad I am usually informed that we “drive on the wrong side of the highway”. This is extremely irritating to say the the very least, even a lot more so considering the fact that it is by the unwell informed.

Around 66% of global website traffic now drives on the ideal hand facet of the highway. This nevertheless is a little something which has evolved about the final number of hundred decades. Traditionally driving on the left was the norm and for nations these kinds of as England, with a extended background we are preserving the custom alive.

Generally I am mocked (tamely) given that my country is in the minority of countries driving on the still left. But there seems to be more sensible justification, on logic and protection for driving on the remaining as opposed to the suitable hand aspect. I’m not expressing that the majority of countries are wrong, just that they should not be so darn arrogant and significant of our history and methods.


College students of the history of driving will be common with the explanation as to why we travel on the remaining. In the time just before cars folks acquired close to on horseback or by horse and carriage. Given that they had been significantly less civil occasions you normally located folks travelling who had been armed.

If you imagine the historical joust between two knights. They both tactic from the remaining side so they can carry their lance in their ideal hand. Soon after all the majority of us are suitable handed soon after all.

In the exact way someone driving on horseback would attract their sword, with their proper hand from a sheath on their still left. This would be an incidence as a way of assault or defence versus an oncoming enemy.

There is also a declare that using (driving) on the left hand aspect permitted you to offer a hand of friendship/peace to oncoming visitors. It makes feeling to me how numerous times have you utilized your remaining hand to shake arms with an individual?

In simple fact, in Swindon, England there was a extremely historic discovery built in 1998. An old Roman quarry was found out and the dust/road tracks were investigated. It was observed that the roadways leading away from the quarry showed a great deal further grooves on the remaining hand side of the street. It is thought that this was triggered by the carts carrying the hefty aggregates away from the web page on the remaining hand facet of the road.

The observe of travelling down a street on the left hand facet was a Papal Edict from Pope Benefice all-around the year 1300. It even turned the formal legislation in the United kingdom in 1835 with the passing of the Highways Invoice.


Driving on the still left hand side is also cited as a safer way to journey. This is the conclusion drawn by J.J. Leming in his analyze of driving practices in 1969. He observed that there was a decreased collision rate in remaining hand aspect driving international locations than people who drive on the suitable.

It is considered that because most of us are suitable handed and correct-eye dominant, it is easier to see the check out of the street in advance of us. It is also simpler to check from the facet of our eyes into our wing mirrors for overtaking by passing cars on the right.

Changing Lanes

Historically it is taken as a actuality that we all employed to push on the left. Get it? We failed to generate on the mistaken side of the street. So, you are possibly wanting to know why the bulk of countries now push on the appropriate?

I suppose you have to search at the case in every single state to have an understanding of why. There are promises that Napoleon hated the British so a lot that when he conquered a region he created them travel on the proper.

It is considered that the French moved in direction of driving on the appropriate hand side all-around 1790 in the course of the create up to the French Revolution. It was a reactionary transfer by the peasantry. The aristocracy applied to push in their carriages so fast that this forced the slower relocating peasants out of the way. As a result they finished up on the appropriate hand side of the highway. A keep ideal rule was introduced in Paris in 1794.

I’ve heard from a Dutch colleague that the Netherlands made use of to push on the remaining. It was only after Germany invaded in the course of the second entire world war that Hitler imposed driving on the right hand facet. Similar promises have been created with regard to Austria and Czechoslovakia in the 1930s.

Nowadays, quite a few countries have moved to driving on the right facet of the highway just to healthy in with neighbouring international locations. Can you visualize the chaos at land borders exactly where you have to quickly change the aspect of the highway you are on?

It operates both of those ways though as Samoa switched from appropriate to still left in 2009.

There are quite a few noteworthy international locations who nevertheless (and rightly in my thoughts) drive on the left. Not only do you have the U.K. and Ireland but there are international locations these kinds of as South Africa, Australia, Thailand, India, Malaysia and Japan.

I’m reasonably properly versed in the good reasons to why we travel on the aspect we do. I am also really adamant that we in the U.K. do in point push on the suitable side of the highway. So the subsequent time some cocky German or American attempts to make a snide remark I will just remind them “We do not travel on the improper side of the highway, you just push on the proper.”

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