We all know that plenty of countries drive on the left-hand side. One of the prominent ones is none other than India. However, some countries drive on the right-hand side. Have you ever wondered what is the reason behind it? Why is there no standard side to drive, and the reason behind this difference? You would be astounded to note that this difference is because of historical, cultural, and even scientific factors. Sounds crazy? We totally agree. If you are curious to know why Indians drive on the left-hand side of the road, unlike Americans who do so on the right, read on.
Indians Drive On The Left Hand Side
In the ancient time, there were no cars, but people did travel on horses and carriages. Furthermore, since then, it was customary to stick to the left side of the road. There is an exciting reason behind it. Most individuals were right-handed; thus, driving on the left side gave them an impetus to use weapons for self-defense if necessary. This practice of driving on the left side continued after the automobile’s invention in the 19th century.
However, what is noteworthy is that while many continued the practice of driving on the left side, several countries switched to driving on the right. These were mostly the countries that were earlier under British imperialism. America is to name one. Ireland, Malta, and India were also British colonies, but they did not switch because of long-standing driving customs, the expenses, and inconveniences that must have popped in. British itself continues to drive on the left-hand side.
Many Countries Switched To Driving On The Right Side
Many countries that were earlier under the hegemony of British imperialism switched to driving on the right side. Interestingly there are several reasons behind the variation in driving practices. You would be astounded to note that major historical events like the French Revolution had great roleplay. French people switched to driving on the right to align with the revolutionary ideals in 1792.
Furthermore, another previous colony that opted for the change was Sweden. One reason for doing so was because a majority of countries from where Sweden imported automobiles drove on the right side. Another reason was they believed there would be more excellent road safety while driving on the right side.
Left Hand Drive Vs Right Hand Drive
The debate over driving on the left side vs the right side is still ongoing. Most people believe the right one is safer and more comfortable. Why? Because a majority of people are right-handed. Driving on the right side also enhances visibility, reducing the risk of accidents.
Various studies and investigations have been done on the matter in order to better understand it. Interestingly, the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute revealed that switching from left to right side could reduce the risk of accidents by up to 40%. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization also states that countries driving on the right side have lower road accidents than those driving on the left.
What are your thoughts on it? Now you know the difference between Left Hand Drive Vs Right Hand Drive. Also, now you are aware of why Indians drive on the left hand side of the road.