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Why go they drive on the left in the UK?

Why Do They Drive on the Left in the UK?

Igor Sitowski
Date added
26 March 2024

From our earliest years, we were ingrained with the notion that if we wanted to cross the street, we must first look to the left, then to the right, and then to the left again. Right-hand traffic seemed completely normal to us, and it never crossed our minds that it could be different elsewhere.

It's as if we said that abroad, we eat pork chops with potatoes using a spoon rather than a fork.

Initially, I found it hard to adjust to the prevailing traffic here, and the biggest challenge was crossing to the other side. I admit, there were a few instances where I failed to look in the direction I should have, and an oncoming car came within inches of sending me to the hospital with broken legs. After a few such instances, my mind automatically encoded the correct way of thinking in those moments.

Historically, traffic drove on the left so that when encountering an enemy on the road, one would pass them on the right-hand side – which is the hand that holds the weapon. Simply put, it was more convenient.

There's also a theory that left-hand traffic originated because the driver held the whip in the right hand, and when striking the horses, pedestrians would often be at risk. Therefore, they drove on the left.

Areas with left-hand traffic are marked in blue.


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