Why Do Some Countries Drive On The Left Side Of The Road?

Why Do Some Countries Drive On The Left Side Of The Road?

Most of the countries that drive on the left side of the road today are old British colonies. Canada used to be a mixed bag, with some territories driving on the right and some on the left, until the country unified on the right side of the road in the mid 1900s. The same was true of Spain and Austria at different points in history. On September 3, 1967, Sweden legislated that citizens would have to convert from left-hand to right-hand driving. The day was commemorated as H Day, or Högertrafik' (right-hand traffic) day. In Europe the only countries that still drive on the left are the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, and Malta.

02:31

from MinuteEarth

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    In 2009, Samoa banned the sale of alcohol for three days while its citizens switched from driving on the left to driving on the right. (0:01)

  • 2

    Knights may have ridden on the left side of the road in order to more easily draw their sword against oncoming enemies. (0:49)

  • 3

    In America, wagon drivers preferred to ride on the leftmost horse so they could control their horses with their right hand. (1:51)

See all

Art

Artists

Sharks

Visual Perception

Get smarter every day! Like us on Facebook.
You'll get the most interesting and engaging topics in your feed, straight from our team of experts.