Why do some countries drive on the left

Throughout the world the majority of countries drive on the right side of the road, though for a few countries (primarily the UK and its previous territories) the left side of the road is still where people can be found driving about. The reason for this lies heavily in history and the importance that left-handed driving offered original horse-drawn carriages.

Given that most the majority of individuals throughout the world are right-handed (and hundreds of years ago left-hand dominance was even shunned in many areas) the majority of all individuals carried their sword on their left hip, allowing for them to more easily draw it and use it in combat as needed with their right hand. In order to maximize this effectiveness on a carriage the driver would subsequently sit on the right-hand side, allowing them to make the best use of their sword arm in combat should they be attacked by roadside bandits.

Unfortunately this meant that driving on the right side of the road proved somewhat difficult on a number of levels, namely it exposed them as the driver the greatest amount of danger (having no open road near them to see oncoming danger) and also prevented them from seeing how close their carriage was coming to an oncoming carriage. To avoid these complications drivers decided to drive on the left, allowing them to see all oncoming traffic and a passenger to aid them in defending their carriage more aptly.

This tradition remained prevalent until both France and the United States began seating their drivers on the left side of a final horse in a chain, better enabling them to use a whip and other devices to control a group of horses or oxen. Drivers, unfortunately, still faced the same problems as seen when sitting on the right, therefore carriages and other traffic were forced to move to the right side of the road in order to better allow drivers to both better see oncoming traffic and obstacles as well as protect them from roadside dangers.

Why do some countries drive on the left

The practicality of the right sided approach gained popularity in many areas, and through a combination of both rebellions and many people seeking to eliminate all ties to earlier British colonial rule driving on the right dominated in popularity in most areas throughout the world. Today only a few countries still drive on the left (most notably the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, India, parts of southern Africa and Indonesia) while the remainder of the world drives on the right (including mainland China and all of Europe where left-handed driving could still be seen a few decades ago).