Left Hand And Right Hand Driving Countries

 

Left Hand And Right Hand Driving Countries

 

Left Hand And Right Hand Driving Countries

In most of the world's countries, including the United States, people drive on the right-hand side of the road. But in some parts of the world, like the United Kingdom and Southern Asia, it's actually wrong to drive on the right! In total, there are 76 countries and territories that follow left-hand traffic laws -- or 34 percent of the world's population.

There are numerous theories as to why some countries drive on the left and some on the right. Though no one knows the exact reasons for sure, it seems likely that travelling on the left of the road became the obvious choice in ancient times. Indeed Roman coins from 50AD have been found which depict horsemen passing on each other’s right. Horse travel in often violent times is the key to why driving on the left became popular. A horse rider would carry their sword in a scabbard on their left hand side , which they would draw, and use with their right hand. It therefore made sense for the right arm, when wielding the sword to be nearer a potential opponent and further away when in the scabbard. That made travelling on the left the safest and most obvious method.

Also , right handed people generally mount a horse from the animals left, and it would be hard to do otherwise if wearing a sword on the left. Obviously, it’s safer to mount and dismount at the side of the road rather than in the centre , so if a rider mounts on the left it would make sense for the horse to then be ridden on the left.

Driving on the wrong side.

The trend among nations over the years has been toward driving on the right, but Britain has done its best to stave off global homogenisation. With the expansion of travel and road building in the 1800s, traffic regulations were made in every country. Left-hand driving was made mandatory in Britain in 1835. Countries which were part of the British Empire followed suit. This is why to this very day, India, Australasia and the former British colonies in Africa go left. An exception to the rule, however, is Egypt, which had been conquered by Napoleon before becoming a British dependency.

Australia drive on the left

Some countries continued to switch sides right up to modern times.Sweden only moved to driving on the right after a referendum in 1967 and Iceland changed the following year. Ghana swapped sides in 1974.On 7 September 2009 Samoa became the third country ever to change from right- to left-hand driving for the down to earth reason that it made it easier to import cheap cars from left-hand driving Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Left hand drive

About a 35% of the world population drives on the left, and the countries that do are mostly old British colonies. This strange quirk perplexes the rest of the world, but there is a perfectly good reason.

Some countries continued to switch sides right up to modern times.Sweden only moved to driving on the right after a referendum in 1967 and Iceland changed the following year. Ghana swapped sides in 1974.On 7 September 2009 Samoa became the third country ever to change from right- to left-hand driving for the down to earth reason that it made it easier to import cheap cars from left-hand driving Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

The following are countries which drive on the left. The remainder drive on the right.The majority of left hand driving nations drive cars with the driving seat on the right.However, there are some countries, notably some Caribbean Islands which drive on the left but most cars are imported from the USA, and are therefore left hand drive, which can make overtaking a tricky manoeuvre.

 

 

 

List of Territories and Countries That Follow Left-Hand Traffic Laws (All others drive on the right)

 

Oceania

  • Australia
  • Christmas Island
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands
  • Cook Islands
  • Fiji
  • Kiribati
  • Nauru
  • New Zealand
  • Niue
  • Norfolk Island
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Pitcairn Islands
  • Solomon Islands
  • Samoa
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu

Asia

  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • Brunei
  • East Timor
  • Hong Kong
  • Indonesia
  • India
  • Japan
  • Macao
  • Malaysia
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Singapore
  • Sri Lanka
  • Thailand

Africa

  • Botswana
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • South Africa
  • Swaziland
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Europe

  • Akrotiri and Dhekelia
  • Cyprus
  • Guernsey
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Man
  • Jersey
  • Malta
  • United Kingdom

South America

  • Guyana
  • Suriname

Caribbean Basin

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbados
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Jamaica
  • Montserrat
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • U.S. Virgin Islands

Other Islands

  • Bermuda
  • Falkland Islands
  • Maldives
  • Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan de Cunha
  • Seychelles
  • South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands

 

 

 

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