Ovelix From Greece, joined Aug 1999, 639 posts, RR: 3 Posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2289 times:
I know that in Commonwealth countries the traffic is on the left side of the road and the driver seat is on the right side of the car.
Why is that the same in Japan too? Japan was not a british colony. How did they adopt this habit? Any Japanese member here to help?
Also, do you know any other countries (except UK and former colonies) where they drive in the left side of the road? For example know of Burma (Birmania) where they drive on the right but the driver seat is on the right too.
Also I saw a picture of german troops just after occupation of Czech Republic changing the signs on the roads so the traffic would switch. Did they drive on the left side of the road in CR too?
EGGD From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 12443 posts, RR: 35
Reply 4, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2236 times:
Umm... because it makes sense to drive on the left hand side of the road.
Believe it or not, its easier for the majority (who are right handed) to drive in a right hand drive car, because when changing gear its much easier to hold the steering wheel with your stronger hand and changing gear with your weaker hand. Left handed people find it easier to drive in left hand drive cars, but they are the minority..
Its just for simplicity really, its easier to drive in a right hand drive car for most people....
NZ767 From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 1620 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2215 times:
Not all Commonwealth countries drive on the left Ovelix.
Canada for instance is right hand drive.
Here in NZ, we drive on the left and there have been quite a few accidents (the most recent one last week causing a fatality) where foreigners from right hand drive countries have gotten into difficulty or become confused on our highways and instinctively revert to driving on the right.
PH-KCA From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2201 times:
Here in the Netherlands the traffic officially drives on the right hand side of the road since around 1800-1810, when the Netherlands still were occupied as part of Napoleons Empire. I think it was this Napoleon who introduced that traffic drives on the right hand side of the road.
PHX-LJU From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2141 times:
Interestingly, while Russia drives on the right (with the cars' steering wheels, of course, on the left), many cars in Siberia and the Russian Far East are left-side vehicles (with their steering wheels on the right) because they are second-hand imports from Japan. Makes for some scary driving...
"Britain's imperial expansion (all of the pink bits on old maps) spread the keep left rule far and wide. This included India, Australasia and much of Africa (Although many African countries changed to the right later when they became independent).
"France also had quite an empire after the revolutionary wars and the keep right rule spread through much of modern day Europe and to colonies such as Egypt. The connection with the USA is thought to be General Lafayette who recommended a keep right rule as part of the help that he gave the Americans in the build up to the war of Independence. The first reference to keep right in USA law is in a rule covering the Lancaster to Philadelphia turnpike in 1792."
"Believe it or not, its easier for the majority (who are right handed) to drive in a right hand drive car, because when changing gear..."
Fortunately, most cars here in the US have automatic transmission, so this isn't an issue for the majority here.
EGGD From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 12443 posts, RR: 35
Reply 18, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2064 times:
Aloges - No survey, I've never been driven before. But its like holding a guitar, or snowboarding. Different ways for right and left handers. I feel playing a guitar with my left hand strumming much easier, and with snowboarding I have my right foot forward.
Ovelix From Greece, joined Aug 1999, 639 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2059 times:
I can assure you that every driver feels comfortable with the side he is driving on. I happened to drive a rented Ford Fiesta (manual transmission) in Oxford some years ago and it took me some time to get used to it but it was no problem as long as you keep attention.
In Greece, where it sunny all the time, you see drivers holding the wheel with the right hand, the left hand out of the open window. When they want to change gear they simply leave the wheel, change the gear and grab the wheel again. I gave a French couple the ride of their life last year when in Corfu they asked me to drive them to the town centre. It was May and I did the left hand out, right in and, man, they were frightened! Forgot to say that in this version of driving you NEVER use the indicators. But then again in Greece nobody uses the indicators.
Aloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8707 posts, RR: 43
Reply 21, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2058 times:
Dan - OK... I've never played a guitar nor have I been snowboarding. I asked because I can't even imagine to change gears with my left hand... Just seems veerrrryyy odd to me. Probably, changing them with the right hand seems just as odd to British drivers. But as for "holding the wheel with the strong hand": ummm... Should I better not tell that I frequently hold that exact wheel with two or three fingers only? You know, in those 30 km/h limit zones we have in Germany - said to be areas where children play, but counting those occasions is way too easy for a first grader. Any way, they like to put up cams there, so you just have to do 30 on a nice wide straight street with no obstacles at all. That's where I don't care which hand I use to hold the steering wheel; changing gears is of course unnecessary.
Kostas - good to see that you Greek fellas are so flexible! (referring to the lanes you drive in)
[Edited 2003-02-10 00:03:15]
Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.