WHY DRIVE ON THE LEFT?
The reasons for this are not entirely certain, but some believe it arose as a matter of safety. The majority of people are right handed, one theory goes, so driving or riding on the left would have allowed them to wield a weapon with their dominant hand if they crossed paths with an enemy.
Since these vehicles often didn’t have a driver’s seat, drivers tended to ride on the left rear horse to more easily control their animal team with their right hand. As the wagons became more popular, traffic naturally moved to the right so drivers could sit closer to the center of the road and avoid collisions with one another. Yet another major influence was car maker Henry Ford, who mass-produced his Model T with a left-positioned steering wheel, which necessitated driving on the right side of the road.
These days, left-hand traffic remains the norm in Britain and many of its former colonies as well as in Japan, Indonesia, Thailand and several other nations. Nevertheless, with the rise of the automobile, many countries have switched to the right to fit in with their neighbors. Canada abandoned the left side of the road in the 1920s to facilitate traffic to and from the United States. In 1967, meanwhile, the government of Sweden spent around $120 million preparing its citizens to begin driving on the right.
Clancy's comment: I've driven on both sides, but I must admit it was a mental challenge when I first arrived in America.