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"We drive on the left" Traffic, Driving and Crossing Roads Tip by Ash59


No, we don't drive on the left to annoy the American tourists!

Did you know that we have a perfectly good reason for doing so that dates back to the the middle ages?

The majority of people are right handed (and what has that got to do with driving on the left, I hear you ask). Well, in the age of chivalry, if you were right handed, then your sword scabbard normally rested on your left hip.

Now, a horseman (the connection to the road), finds it easier to mount a horse from the left side of the horse, and it would be difficult to do otherwise if wearing a sword (on the left). It is safer to mount and dismount towards the side of the road, rather than in the middle of traffic, so if one mounts on the left, then the horse should be ridden on the left side of the road.

Also, horsemen armed with swords prefered to keep left of each other in order that their sword arm is nearer their opponent. This also makes it easier to offer one's right hand in friendship.

Hope this makes sense. it is because of our long history of cavalry and Knights that we drive on the left, not because we want to be awkward!

Address: London

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jan 30, 2003
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