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What’s the Reason Behind Right-Hand Driving in Some Countries?

What’s the Reason Behind Right-Hand Driving in Some Countries?

It has always been a mystery why the world seemed to be divided when it comes to the location of their car’s steering wheel. Nowadays, it’s known as “right-hand driving”, where the steering wheel is placed on the right side of the car. “Left-hand driving”, on the other hand, is where the steering wheel is placed on the left side of the vehicle.

Typically, a right-hand drive vehicle drives on the “left side of the road“, or left-hand traffic (LHT). In normal conversation, it’ll be a car that “drives on the left.”

On the other hand, a left-hand drive vehicle drives on the “right side of the road“, or right-hand traffic (RHT). It will be a car that “drives on the right.”

Keterangan Gambar (© Pemilik Gambar)

Many countries that practice right-hand driving are former British colonies. Even though not all, like Indonesia and Timor Leste.

Keterangan Gambar (© Pemilik Gambar)

And there’s a reason behind it. During English feudalism where knights or sword fighters were still in the norm, right-handed swordsmen would prefer to keep to the “left side of the road” for the following reasons:

  • So they can easily use their right hand to wield their sword to an approaching opponent
  • To avoid bumping into another’s scabbard, which is the thin cover of the sword that’s attached to a belt and placed on the left part the body
  • To easily mount from the left side, and dismount from the right side of the horse

Napoleon started to enforce left-hand driving when he conquered European countries like Germany, Switzerland, Poland, and many others. Of course, his staunch opponents like Britain stubbornly refused to do so, and maintained their right-hand driving tradition. In fact, Britain enforced this rule in all its colonies, which is the reason why India and most of its African colonies still use right-hand driving even today.

Keterangan Gambar (© Pemilik Gambar)
Keterangan Gambar (© Pemilik Gambar)

 

The United States, on the other hand, wanted to escape its British roots, so went towards left-hand driving, instead.

Still, there are some countries that want to maintain their right-hand driving tradition — particularly the U.K. Other countries that also practice it include:

  • Thailand
  • Indonesia
  • South Africa
  • Singapore
  • New Zealand
  • Malta
  • Malaysia
  • Kenya
  • Japan
  • Jamaica
  • Isle of Man
  • Ireland
  • India
  • Hong Kong
  • Cyprus
  • Channel Islands
  • Caribbean Islands
  • Australia

Source: Carmudi Insider

Akhyari Hananto

I began my career in the banking industry in 1997, and stayed approx 6 years in it. This industry boost his knowledge about the economic condition in Indonesia, both macro and micro, and how to More understand it. My banking career continued in Yogyakarta when I joined in a program funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB),as the coordinator for a program aimed to help improve the quality of learning and teaching process in private universities in Yogyakarta. When the earthquake stroke Yogyakarta, I chose to join an international NGO working in the area of ?disaster response and management, which allows me to help rebuild the city, as well as other disaster-stricken area in Indonesia. I went on to become the coordinator for emergency response in the Asia Pacific region. Then I was assigned for 1 year in Cambodia, as a country coordinator mostly to deliver developmental programs (water and sanitation, education, livelihood). In 2009, he continued his career as a protocol and HR officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya, and two years later I joined the Political and Economic Section until now, where i have to deal with extensive range of people and government officials, as well as private and government institution troughout eastern Indonesia. I am the founder and Editor-in-Chief in Good News From Indonesia (GNFI), a growing and influential social media movement, and was selected as one of The Most Influential Netizen 2011 by The Marketeers magazine. I also wrote a book on "Fundamentals of Disaster Management in 2007"?, "Good News From Indonesia : Beragam Prestasi Anak Bangsa di dunia"? which was luanched in August 2013, and "Indonesia Bersyukur"? which is launched in Sept 2013. In 2014, 3 books were released in which i was one of the writer; "Indonesia Pelangi Dunia"?, "Indonesia The Untold Stories"? and "Growing! Meretas Jalan Kejayaan" I give lectures to students in lectures nationwide, sharing on full range of issues, from economy, to diplomacy Less
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