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Why do the British drive on the left? | Almanac.com

Why do the British drive on the left?

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Why do the British drive on the left?
About a quarter of the world’s countries drive on the left, and the countries that do are mostly former British colonies. This quirk perplexes the rest of the world; however, there is a perfectly good reason. Up to the late 1700s, everybody traveled on the left side of the road because it was the sensible option for feudal, violent societies. Because most people are right-handed, jousting knights with their lances under their right arm naturally passed on each other’s right, and if you passed a stranger on the road, you walked on the left to ensure that your protective sword arm was between yourself and him. The drive-on-the-right policy was adopted by the United States, which was anxious to cast off all remaining links with its British colonial past. Once America drove on the right, left-side driving fell out of favor, because America was once the only manufacturer of reliable cars.

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