Why Some Countries Have Right-Hand Driving and Some Have Left-Hand Cars

Have you ever wondered why the world seemed to be divided on where the car’s steering wheel is placed? If you’re traveling to a different country, it would be useful if you understand the difference between left-hand and right-hand driving. When the steering wheel is placed on the right side of the car, it is referred to as a ‘right-hand drive’ vehicle. On the other hand, when the steering wheel is positioned on the left side of the car, it is called a ‘left-hand drive’ vehicle.

It can sometimes get confusing when you compare left-hand drive versus right-hand drive. However, this is what you have to remember: left-hand drive cars must run on the right side of the road while right-hand drive vehicles must run on the left side of the road.

Why Do Some Countries Adopt Right-Hand Driving

In general, countries that adopt right-hand driving are formerly or currently British colonies. There used to be a practical reason behind this. When sword fighters and knights were still common in English feudalism, swordsmen who were right-handed preferred to use the ‘left side of the road’. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • This allowed them to conveniently use their right hand in wielding their sword against an approaching opponent.
  • It helped them avoid bumping into each other’s scabbard. The scabbard is the sword’s thin cover that is attached to the swordsman’s belt, placed on the left part of their body.
  • They could easily mount from the left side and get off the horse from its right side.

When Napoleon conquered European countries like Poland, Germany, Switzerland, and many others, he started to enforce left-hand driving. However, his strong opponents like Britain refused to implement his rule, maintaining their tradition of right-hand driving. Britain even enforced this practice to its colonies. This is also the reason why India and its colonies in Africa still use right-hand driving to this day.

On the other hand, the United States wanted to build their own identity. So, they opted for left-hand driving instead. Consequently, countries that were colonized by the United States also followed left-hand driving rules. For instance, in the Philippines, the first vehicles that were introduced to the market were Henry Ford’s Model T cars, which have the steering wheel placed on the left side. As such, left-hand driving has been a tradition in this country.

However, many countries—especially in the UK—still prefer to keep right-hand driving rules. Other countries that practice such tradition include:

  • Kenya
  • South Africa
  • Thailand
  • Malta
  • New Zealand
  • Malaysia
  • Isle of Man
  • Jamaica
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Channel Islands
  • Australia
  • Cyprus
  • Caribbean Islands

There are more countries following right-hand driving rules apart from the aforementioned. Japan is one of them. So, if you are planning to buy from used car auctions in this country, you have to be aware that most vehicles have right-hand drive design.

Get Left Hand Drive Cars from Japan Through Carused.jp

If you live in a country that follows left-hand driving rules and you want to buy a good used car, don’t worry. Here at Carused.jp, we have a great selection of left hand drive cars from Japan. Simply go to our online catalog or contact our sales team to ask about our available left-hand drive vehicles. On the other hand, if you truly want to purchase one of our right-hand drive cars, you can get your vehicle converted before importation.

If you want to know more about importing left hand drive cars from Japan, contact Carused.jp today! Trust that our friendly and knowledgeable sales representatives will assist you with your needs.

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