Quick Answer: Why Are European Cars Steering Wheels On The Right?

What countries have steering wheels on the right?

Still, there are some countries that want to maintain their right-hand driving tradition — particularly the U.K.

Other countries that also practice it include:Thailand.South Africa.Singapore.New Zealand.Malta.Malaysia.Kenya.Japan.More items…•.

Why are steering wheels on different sides?

As most people are right-handed, most teamsters would need the whip in their right hand — so it made more sense to sit on the left-hand horse. And with most drivers sitting on the left-hand side of their rides, it made sense to arrange traffic so that vehicles would ride on the right-hand side of the road.

The short answer to whether or not it’s legal to drive this type of vehicle is yes, it’s perfectly legal. … The caveat is that, just like any other car, right-hand vehicles must comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards as written in the NHTSA regulations, EPA regulations, and have the proper registration.

Why are European cars backwards?

Since he was sitting on the left, he wanted other wagons to pass on his left, so he kept to the right side of the road. … According to National Geographic, this influenced a change in many countries: Canada, Italy, and Spain changed to right-side driving in the 1920s and most of Eastern Europe followed suit in the 1930s.

Yes, it is legal to drive a vehicle with the steering wheel on the right in the United States. … In the case of the United States Postal Service, right-hand-drive vehicles are purchased under contract from a manufacturer so they meet U.S. specs as shipped from the factory.

Why do British cars have steering wheel on right side?

In the early years of English colonisation of North America, English driving customs were followed and the colonies drove on the left. After gaining independence from England, however, they were anxious to cast off all remaining links with their British colonial past and gradually changed to right-hand driving.

Why did Sweden change to driving on the right?

Sweden initiated the driving change in part because its neighbors already drove on the right side of the road. Many members of the Swedish parliament also argued that the left-hand vehicles Swedes drove had caused too many head-on collisions.

Why do Japanese cars have the steering wheel on the right side?

Due to the horse carriage culture that was spread around Europe, cars were made with the steering wheel on the right side and the gear on the left. (similar to American cars).

Why Japan drives on the left?

Although Japan was never part of the British Empire, its traffic also keeps to the left. This practice goes back all the way to the Edo period (1603-1867) when Samurai ruled the country (same sword and scabbard deal as before), but it wasn’t until 1872 that this unwritten rule became official.

Does China drive on the left?

Most areas of the world which were formerly British colonies still drive on the left hand side of the road including Australia, the Caribbean, India and South Africa. Japan also drives on the left. … About two thirds of the countries in the world drive on the right including the USA, China and Russia.

Why do Brits drive on the wrong side of the road?

As most people are right-handed, the driver would sit to the right of the seat so his whip hand was free. Traffic congestion in 18th century London led to a law being passed to make all traffic on London Bridge keep to the left in order to reduce collisions.

When did Europe start driving on the right?

Gradually the right-hand traffic was adopted in most countries: Belgium introduced it in 1899, Portugal in 1928, Spain in 1930, and Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938. The kingdom of Sweden — not until 1967. It became the last state in continental Europe where left-hand traffic persisted.

Which country changed from driving on the left to driving on the right?

SwedenDagen H (H day), today usually called “Högertrafikomläggningen” (“The right-hand traffic diversion”), was the day on 3 September 1967, in which the traffic in Sweden switched from driving on the left-hand side of the road to the right. The “H” stands for “Högertrafik”, the Swedish word for “right traffic”.

Why is the driver seat on the right?

Whenever there was an option if which seat to sit in, the driver chose the seat closest to the road (right seat in a wagon, later car) so it was easier to see the wheels of passing vehicles (large wooden wagon wheels, later cars).

Which is safer driving on right or left?

It can’t be said for certain if there’s a traffic handedness that is more conducive to safe driving. It has been noticed that countries that drive on the left side of the road have considerably fewer traffic accidents and fatalities than those that drive on the right side of the road. A study performed in 1969 by J.J.

Does Germany drive on the right side?

Germany, like the rest of continental Europe, drives on the right-hand side. In Europe, only the British Isles and Gibraltar drive on the left-hand side.

Which side is the steering wheel in France?

leftThe French drive on the right side of the road, like most European countries. If you’re hiring a car and haven’t driven on the right before you will have to get used to the steering wheel being on the left-hand side of the vehicle.

Why do European cars drive on the right?

Once traffic regulation laws started becoming more common, most countries chose right-hand driving, while in 1835, Britain and its colonies made left handed driving mandatory. Another heavy influence, France’s Napoleon helped spread right sided driving culture in Europe.