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What is the reason behind the left-hand drive and right-hand drive in different countries?

What is the reason behind the left-hand drive and right-hand drive in different countries?

Posted On 04 Jul, 2018

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You do realize that 70% of today’s modern traditions, rules and regulations originate from ancient times, right? Even though car driving is just about century old, the rules that we keep are in fact older. There’s no doubt that you have asked yourself at least once in your life why some countries drive on the left side and others do it on the right side of the road.

You can seek the answers to this question at times when the first means of transportation occurred. Horse riding was crucial for both economic and military purposes. It is not that any written rules were created back then but rather that people did things out of convenience and necessity.

As they rode their horses, people wanted to be able to defend themselves. This was pretty important in feudal times. Given the fact that most people were right-handed (and still are), riding on the left side of the road made sense. This way you could swing with your right arm. It was all about being close enough to your opponent in order to strike them.

Also, mounting a horse from the left side was also easier. That’s because the person would mount with their right shoulder going forward. They wouldn’t have it any other way because their sword would be sheathed on their left side.

Let’s See Why We Also Have a Right-hand Drive in Some Countries

Here’s an example as to why countries which are not the UK have a right-hand drive. In France and Russia or simply Continental Europe, people would use wagons pulled by a few horses. The driver would sit on the left because they would want to have their right hand free in order to whip the horses. Naturally, they wanted to have others pass them on the left side so that they can see them clearly and be closer to them.

All this has achieved is make it harder for us to drive in foreign countries nowadays. For instance, a non-UK resident would have a “fun time” conducting a test drive in the UK. People who are unfamiliar with the driving rules when it comes to direction might struggle initially. This is even more pronounced if you do a used car test drive and reach a roundabout. Such intersections go the opposite direction in the UK and you have to pay attention to this.

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