Fri | Sep 20, 2019

Differences between the left-hand and right-hand drives

Published:Sunday | August 25, 2019 | 12:23 AM

Travelling from one country to another comes with a bundle of surprises – new culture, new people, different food, culture shocks, and many more. Another thing that could be included in this package are the driving rules – especially for people visiting from a right-hand driving country visiting a left-hand driving (LHD vs RHD) country or vice versa. Left-hand drive vs right-hand drive is a dilemma that many people cannot wrap their head around.

The Reasons for Differences between Leftt-hand and right-hand drives

The automobile is a 20th-century invention. So it seems confusing that there are two different standard systems for driving all over the world. Well, the car is a modern conception, but the roads have been there for centuries.

Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, was the pioneer in changing the driving side. He designed his Model T automobile with the left-hand drive. It enabled the drivers to drive on the road’s right, allowing passengers to exit onto the pavement.

Ford said that the clash between left-hand drive vs right-hand drive, in which the former standard came out as victorious. Many countries gradually followed this standard, with Spain, Italy, and Canada in the 1920s and most Eastern European countries in the ‘30s.

Left-Hand Drive or Right-Hand Drive, which one is safer?

According to a study conducted in 1969 by J. J. Leeming, the countries applying the driving law on the left have lower rates of traffic crashes than those applying the right-driving laws.

When driving on the left, the right eye, is used more to monitor the opposite direction of traffic and the rearview mirror near the driver. In addition, there are also suggestions that driving on the left is safer for older people because it seems that ageing results in decreased ability to focus on the left. Vehicles are moving to the left at intersections.

What Is the Current Condition?

Countries have designed roads and cities according to the way the drive.

It is obvious from the left-hand drive vs right-hand drive discussion that all the countries started driving on the right side of the road but most of them eventually switched the side. Today, almost 50 countries still stick to the tradition of driving on the left. The only apparent reason for this stubbornness seems to be the unwillingness to change a tradition. However, the logical cause is the left-hand drive countries have designed their roads and cities to accommodate left-handed driving. Changing the driving side is not a viable option for these countries because they would have to alter the design of their cities.