Only 35 percent of the world’s countries have left-handed driving rules. Driving on the left can be seen mainly in England, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and some other countries. However, driving on the right side of the road can be seen in most countries of America and Africa, including other European countries except England.
In ancient times, the rule of ‘going left’ was practiced almost everywhere. In just a few days, people have become accustomed to the right-hand rule. The earliest archaeological evidence for the rule of being on the left or right of the road dates back to the Roman Empire. As roads and freight and passenger vehicles were combined throughout Europe during the Roman period, they also needed to implement certain policies to ensure that people and vehicles could travel on the roads.
Archaeological evidence suggests that the Romans walked on the left side of the road. Although it is not known exactly why they chose the left side, it is safe to say that their “left-handed” rule continued in almost all places until the Middle Ages.
Until the Middle Ages, it was not safe to drive on the streets. Because the person or group coming in front of the road always had to be alert and defensive. Historians say that the custom of walking on the left side of the road actually came from the Asi warriors and the cavalry warriors. Since in the past almost everyone was right-handed and the sheath of the sword was on the left side, it was easy to draw the sword from there and deal with the enemy with one’s strong right hand. There was another reason for their left-handed nature so that the sheath of their sword would not hurt anyone else. It was also easy to shake hands with a friend or acquaintance if you ever walked down the street.
It is also easy for a right-handed person to climb up and down on the left side of the horse. If there was a sword sheath on the right side of the body, it would only be troublesome. Besides, it was safer to ride the horse on the left side than on the right side of the road. Since the right side was full of different vehicles and people. So if someone was riding on the left side, it was reasonable for him to ride on the left side.
The practice of ‘walking to the left’ was so common that in 1300, Pope Boniface VIII issued a rule that all pilgrims arriving in Rome must come on the left hand side. This rule was in force in the western countries till about 1800.
The first known source of walking on the right was in America in the 18th century. Large freight horse-drawn carriages were in vogue in America at that time. Since the size of the cars was huge and they were racing on the roads, everyone else had to adapt to the rules of the car. The feature of these carts was that there were 5-6 horses attached here. There was no fixed seat for the driver. As a result, a right-handed driver could sit on the horse to the left of all and control all the horses at once with a whip in his right hand.
By sitting on the left, they could also be on the lookout for any oncoming vehicles so that their vehicles would not collide with anything in front of them. As a result of walking on the right side of the road, collisions could be easily avoided on the left side considering the situation of distant vehicles. This practice has been widespread since the late 18th century. Even in Pennsylvania, USA, a law was passed in 1792 for the right-wing movement. Since then, the rule has spread throughout the United States and Canada.
ed for Napoleon as well. Whatever the reason, Napoleon introduced this right in all the later conquered countries. Even after his defeat, those countries followed the rules introduced by Napoleon.
This rule spread more rapidly in the twentieth century when Germany began to rule European countries. They impose a ‘right-wing’ policy on the countries under their control.
In this way, England was the complete opposite again. The large freight cars that have contributed to the American right-wing movement have not been as effective in England, as London’s roads have been narrow, and such vehicles have been unsuitable for driving. With him England was never under Napoleon or Germany. So they were following their hundred-year-old rule of ‘going left’. Britain enacted this law in 1857. Then, as the British Empire began to expand, so did the practice of ‘left-handedness’ throughout the world. However, due to the expansion of Germany and the popularity of the ‘right-wing’ style, it is no longer practiced in many countries under British rule. However, in some countries of the Asian continent, the practice of walking on the left side of the road is still practiced, among them India, Pakistan, Japan and Bangladesh.
Although Japan has never been under English rule, its vehicles run on the left side of the road. Its history shows that the first railway line was introduced in Japan in 182. And England technically assisted them in establishing these railway vehicles. As a result, a lot of railways and railway vehicles such as trains, trams, etc. started moving. Since England assisted in the construction of these and the ‘left-handed’ style was prevalent in England, these trains and trams started moving on the left side. As a result, in 1924, Japan passed a law on the left side of the road.
Source: Roar Media.