Posted by Kate Doyle

It is likely that you haven’t paid much attention to which side of the road you drive on. Especially since it appears that as long as cars have been on the road, they have been driving on the left. At least in the UK.

The UK is one of the countries that drives on the left-hand side of the road, much like many other Commonwealth countries across the world. But why do we drive on the left? And who else does this?

Why do we drive on the left?

The reason why we drive on the left in the UK goes back to the times of knights on horseback.

Driving on the left was seen to be the sensible choice as the majority of people were right-handed. Sounds strange? Well, it was to make sure that they had their right arm near to their possible attackers or opponents and were ready to strike with their sword if they needed to.

Not only this, but a right-handed person will find it easier to mount a horse from the left side of the horse, which means that they would be able to mount their horse at the side of the road, rather in the middle of the road.

Who else drives on the left?

Around 35% of the population around the world drives on the left of the road. These are often colonial countries that have inherited this practice from us here in the UK.

Some of the countries that drive on the left-hand side include:

  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Japan
  • India
  • Zambia

However, there are many more countries that drive on the right-hand side of the road. Canada, America, South America, Europe, Russia and many other countries are opposite to us, and this makes up a large chunk of the driving population.

Transferring from left to right

For the most of us, we won’t ever have to be used to transferring to the different side of the road, or if we do it will be every now and then, related to holidays or trips abroad. However, there are some drivers that frequently change the side of the road that they drive on.

This is particularly true for those that work as a lorry driver, who will frequently find themselves travelling in countries that have different driving rules and regulations. This can be confusing, especially during those early days. However, with time, much like driving itself, they will soon become used to this new way of driving.

Whether you are a fleet manager that solely has drivers in the UK or one that operates throughout the world, you will want to make sure that you take care of your drivers and make sure that they are performing the best that they can. No matter where they are driving, and what side of the road it is!

Kate Doyle

My job is to be the customer champion. When I am not working on projects that are meaningful for our customers and our brand, I’m probably online shopping, doing yoga or nattering on the phone.