The fact that Japan drives on the left-hand side of the road kinda freaked me out when I first got here, but since then it has become old hat. I’ve even started adapting to the traffic habits when I cross the street and such. But yesterday outside my apartment there was a Japanese guy driving a Jeep, and wouldn’t you know it, the steering wheel was on the left side of the car. That struck me, and it got me to thinking about what really is the “right” side of the road to drive on, and why did all of this confusion develop anyway.
So, I did some research, and no matter what you overly proud Brits and Aussies think, the left-hand side is really the wrong side of the road! Just kidding!! But in actuality, 66% of the world drives on the right-hand side of the road! 🙂 So we win!
I also discovered that left side driving finds its origins because people were most often right-handed and wanted to keep their sword hand available for randomly fighting people as you drove along in your chariot or on your horse. Driving on the right side began because people driving a horse and cart sat on the left rear horse so that they could keep their right hand free for whipping their horses. Consequentially, any British colonies followed Britain’s lead and went left. Any French colonies and non-British colonies followed France and America’s lead and went right. Though personally, I think that we in the US just chose to drive on the right just to annoy the British.
Hmm…so, all those crazies driving on the left-hand side of the road can say that their driving forefathers are also crazies who went around senselessly killing people on their way to market. While we on the right can claim that we’re descended from animal abusers. But whatever side of the road you drive on whether left or right, just keep to the correct side, and we’ll all be okay!
For more information, including country lists, check out this website!