Offbeat — 19 March 2014

america Drive on the Right

There are interesting facts behind different countries driving on different sides of the road. Ancient historical facts have determined the way some countries drive on the right side as opposed to the traditional practice of driving on the left. In fact, it all started with Britain where people used to carry swords in their right hand. They were allowed to carry these swords to protect themselves. Thus, it was easier for them to defend themselves while they passed other drivers on the left. In addition, traveling on the left would not have hit anybody when a sword rested in a scabbard worn on left side.

Driving on the left also helped horse riders in mounting their horses comfortably and away from the traffic. Thus, many countries noticed such advantages of driving on the left side and started following the British driving tradition. However, this tradition was altered by some countries after 1700s when many changes happened throughout the world. America was also one of these nations that had gained an independent status and did not want to keep following the old British rules. Thus, they changed their driving side to keep it on the right.

Since America slowly became the leading power in the world, it started developing its own rules that also influenced various other nations. America started manufacturing vehicles that were suitable to be driven on the right side. In addition, America felt that driving on the right could be safer than driving on the left side. The needs of people had changed by these times and that called for changes in the rules too. Thus, driving rules in America were changed from those followed in Britain in ancient days. People felt that it was powerful to drive on the right side. Since those times of gaining independence, Americans have been driving on the right side.


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Anupam Jolly

With a bachelor’s degree in technology and over five years of experience in online content generation and distribution, Anupam Jolly has been creating and editing content spanning across a variety of domains. An avid environmentalist, Anupam Jolly believes that if humans can degrade the environment, they can save it from disaster too.

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