Why do we drive on the left in the UK?
It seems crazy why some countries drive on the right and we drive on the left. Only around 35% of the words population drive on the left. However, we are not the only country that drives on this side of the road. Below is a list of other countries, which also drive on the left:
Anguilla – Antigua – Australia – Bahamas – Bangladesh – Barbados –Bermuda – Bhutan – Botswana – British Virgin Islands – Brunei – Cayman Islands – Channel Islands – Cyprus – Dominica – Eire – Falkland Islands – Fiji – Grenada – Guyana – Hong Kong – India – Indonesia – Isle of Man – Jamaica – Japan – Kenya – Lesotho – Macau – Malawi – Malaysia – Malta – Mauritius – Montserrat – Mozambique – Namibia – Nepal – New Zealand – Northern Ireland – Pakistan – Papua New Guinea – Samoa – Seychelles – Scotland – Singapore – Solomon Islands – South Africa – Sri Lanka – St Kitts & Nevis – St Helena – St Lucia – Surinam – Swaziland – Tanzania – Thailand – Tonga – Trinidad & Tobago – Turks & Caicos Islands – Uganda – US Virgin Islands – Zambia – St Vincent & Grenadines – Wales
Up until the late 1700’s, many years before the motorcar was invented, the entire world kept on the left when travelling. The reason for this was dates back way before the 1700’s. Most people were, and still are right handed. Knights with their lances under their right arm naturally passed on each other’s right hand side to allow attack. It made sense to then keep to the left when passing strangers on the road as a protective measure. It was safer to keep a protective sword handy between you and a potential threat.
It all started to change when Napoleon, who was left handed, overturned this practice as part of Frances social rethink. Any country which was part of the British Empire remained left handed, and those colonised by the French was right handed.
So why does America drive on the right?
The British played a very small role in shaping the side of the road Americans drive on. This was because the French colonised more southern states, the Dutch colonised New York and the Spanish colonised areas in South America.