Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road – Left- and Right-Hand Traffic
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Why exactly? Well, nobody knows that for sure and, in fact, it’s hard to decide which one is better, but both the Englishman and the American agree they wouldn’t change that for anything.
Most drivers around the world get the chance to experience the other driving mode once traveling abroad, regardless if we are talking about left- or right-hand traffic. And chances are that it’ll happen to you too, as statistics show that about a quarter of the whole globe drives on the left.
So, how’s that possible? How come so many people are still using right-hand drive cars and why are we using left-hand drive ones or vice-versa? How and more importantly, where and when, did it all begin?
We’ll try to answer all these questions in the following paragraphs, although it’s quite impossible to decide which one is better. Both have pros and cons and as far as each country is concerned, it doesn’t really seem like things are going to change any time soon. If you ask their people, it’s just the way things should be…
Unsurprisingly, most of the countries that are still using left-hand traffic are former British colonies. According to the most recent statistics, there are less than 80 nations on the globe where keeping the left side of the road is mandatory, including Japan, the United Kingdom, Australia, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand and Maldives.
On the other hand, the number of countries that decided to go the other way around and choose right-hand traffic is significantly higher, exceeding 160 according to various researches and including names such as United States, Argentina, Congo, Egypt and most European nations.
Here’s what we believe to be a comprehensive list of countries where traffic goes on the left side of the road. If a certain state is not on the list, then it most likely picked right-hand traffic.
|Antigua and Barbuda||Montserrat|
|Botswana||Norfolk Island (Australia)|
|Cayman Islands||Papua New Guinea|
|Christmas Island (Australia)||Pitcairn Islands (Britain)|
|Cook Islands||Saint Helena|
|Cyprus||Saint Kitts and Nevis|
|East Timor||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines|
|Guernsey (Channel Islands)||Solomon Islands|
|Hong Kong||Sri Lanka|
|Isle of Man||Thailand|
|Jamaica||Tokelau (New Zealand)|
|Jersey (Channel Islands)||Trinidad and Tobago|
|Kenya||Turks and Caicos Islands|
|Cocos (Keeling) Islands (Australia)||Uganda|
|Macau||Virgin Islands (UK)|
|Malawi||Virgin Islands (US)|
Before proceeding with a short history lesson, there’s one major thing to be clarified: left-hand traffic IS NOT the same thing as left-hand drive cars! Inhabitants living in countries with left-hand traffic buy right-hand drive cars and vice-versa, which means the driver has a better sight on oncoming cars, thus making passing maneuvers a lot safer.
Now jump over to the next page to find out the origins of left- and right-hand traffic.
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comments written so far
On 25 April 2013 at 23:02 UTC, Marla M. said:
Do you think left hand traffic or right hand traffic is better? And why?
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