Offbeat — 22 February 2014

British Drive on the Left

Have you ever traveled to Britain from another country where the driving is done on the right side? Did you find it strange that British people drive on the left side? Well. There are reasons why this tradition still prevails. Yes, it is about the tradition that has continued in Britain over centuries. This tradition actually started in 1300 AD when the science of traffic control directed people to drive on the left whenever they headed to the Roman city. Later, this tradition prevailed across the world and most of the countries started driving on the left side.

The left-side driving tradition was altered in the United States in 1700s when people found it hard to drive horse wagons on the left. It could be problematic to keep track of other vehicles when a driver was sitting on a horse and steering a wagon on the left. Thus, the change took place and many other countries followed the suit according to their requirements. However, British people continued to drive on the left, as there were hardly any monster horse wagons that were driven in Britain. Drivers used to sit on the right of a mounted seat, which was pretty comfortable according to driving conditions.

The traffic was officially governed to be on the left when the practice was made part of the British laws in 1756. Since then, Britain and some inspired countries have been following the rule of a left-side drive. People who usually drive on the right may find it awkward to drive in Britain. While some a few European countries took various precautions and altered their driving system to follow the right-side drive, Britain has never followed them. It has now become a part of life in Britain and could be disastrous if the system is suddenly changed.


About Author

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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