Why Do Some Countries Drive on the Left and Others on the Right Side?

One of the most asked question from me regarding left and right side drive of different countries; like Pakistan drives on left side while few countries drive on right side.

  • 165 Countries in the World Drive on the Right Side of the Road.
  • 65 Countries Drive on the Left Side of the Road.

Why is the World So Divided About Which Side We Drive?

Driving on the left originated in an era before automobiles: Ancient Rome.

Everyone rode their horses and carts on the left side of the road.

The majority of Romans were right handed and would steer with their left, Allowing their dominant right hand easy access to their weapon.

Driving on the left kept their right arm closer to the opponents to defend themselves. Useful for combat, the custom of riding on the left side continued to medieval Europe.

In the 1700s, Britain made driving on the left the law across all of its colonies.

Meanwhile, France and the U.S rode on the right side of the road.

France originally directed traffic to the left, but switched after the French Revolution, because Napoleon Bonaparte was left handed and favored right hand traffic.

The U.S. rode on the right side because of the popularity of large freight wagons. Wagon drivers sat behind the left horse. Driving on the right allowed them to see passing traffic.

As automobiles rose in popularity, traffic in many countries switched to the right.

Leaving the few, former British colonies of today driving on the left side of the road.

Let us know which side of the road your country drives on!

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