The Historical English whim that explains why you now drive on the opposite side of the road

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You may drive on the other side of the road, but for a 35% of the world’s population, the left side is the correct side. The English are not the only ones that drive on the left, Japan, Ireland, and some of the Caribbean islands also drive on this side, but why?

Who historically introduced the change of side?

When the first “streets” began to form, almost everyone drove on the left side, but of course, the means of transportation had little to do with ours. To understand it you have to think with your legs, not with the wheels.

El capricho histórico de los ingleses que explica por qué ahora conducen por el lado contrario de la carretera

The left-handed riders had to make it work with the hand changed.  To mount and dismount the horse it’s also easier on the left side and a lot safer than doing it in the middle of the road.

Why let people drive on the left then?

The change came hand in hand with the Industrial Revolution when large freight wagons were pulled by several rows of horses in France and the United States. The driver went to the back of the first horse on the left, to keep his right arm free and control the horses.

El capricho histórico de los ingleses que explica por qué ahora conducen por el lado contrario de la carretera

Sitting to the left, the logical thing was that the rest of the vehicles, being advanced by the left for what began to circulate on the right side of the road. They all began to lead them down the right side, except the British, who forced their drivers to continue driving on the left.

The division was not a problem until the English government and the French, with their respective colonies, they decided during the expansion and conquest of new territories, all of the new conquests was to drive on the correct side, left if it was a British colony and right if it was French.

El capricho histórico de los ingleses que explica por qué ahora conducen por el lado contrario de la carretera

When the car was invented, in 1908, the first model had the steering wheel to the left, so the drivers must drive on the right in order to improve visibility. The gap was served. Many countries changed sides (Spain, Canada or Italy), but many others remained on the left.

And you, what side do you drive on?

Share it with your friends so that they know what is the good side!

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