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Countries driving on the left, countries driving on the right

In case you thought it was just a country or two driving "on the other side of the road".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Countries_driving_on_the_left_or_right.svg
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Jacob Moodie's profile photoGraham Bell's profile photoRaymond Barbour's profile photoken morgan's profile photo
8 comments
 
We're still suffering from our British empire past
 
I think the red will win this one :P
 
Having driven both I have to say driving on the left is much more natural
 
+Graham Bell, what did you grow up around and start driving on, the left or right side of the road?
Mike L.
 
+Graham Bell how so? Also: Automatic or stick?
As a left handed person (born in Germany, so I'm a right-sider) driving has the bug of operating parts of the machine with my off-hand (stick is on my right side). So as a right handed person I should be fine. Just assuming here, of course. On the other hand [pun not intended] driving in the UK would be the other way round, e.g. operating the machinery and CD-Player and everything with my left hand while my right hand would be idle most of the time.
Conclusively I say from that point of view driving on the left side of the road is "wrong" ;)


Another, unrelated question:
Most countries with left-driving are [ex]Commonwealth. Why not America?
 
+Graham Bell having learned to drive in a rhd car I feel it is more natural. The US in particular seems to drive more automatic cars. As a manual/stick driver I think it is better to have the dominant right hand on the wheel with the left hand to change gears. When I did dive in the US it was an automatic.

+Mike L. I think your answer is the American revolution and geographic position. Most countries still under British control when cars became common are rhd. Canada's choice was probably based on its position close to the US rather than its commonwealth ties.

Once the choice has been made it's almost impossible to switch. The only country I know of that has made the switch is Sweden.
 
I learnt to drive in England, so I'm biased that way - but have driven on the right for longer. The only reason anyone drives on the right was because of Napoleon's spat with the Pope who wanted everyone to "drive" on the left. Britain wasn't taken over by Napoleon, and so remained left driving.

For the doubters out there, imagine you are approaching an unknown person. Would you prefer to approach on the left or the right? Most people are right handed and so you want your right arm closest to the stranger.
Mike L.
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Nicely put, Graham. Even as a left handed person I do agree.
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