... Can you name the countries who drive on the left side of the road? The tiny island of Mauritius, which only has one highway, also adheres to the left-hand driving rule. Samoan workers are repainting road markings in 2009 On 7 September 2009 the Independent State of Samoa (not to be confused with American Samoa !) The main theory is that it started in Britain and spread with the British Empire. The following is a list of countries of the world whose inhabitants drive on the left- or right-hand side of the road. Cook Islands. Keep left. A total of 78 countries and territories drive on the left. A total of 78 countries and territories The countries that drive on the left side of the road … But why is it that some countries choose to drive on the left side of the road while others drive on the left? In fact, there are 78 countries and territories that observe LHT, or left-hand traffic. This can be disorienting to get used to, so it is necessary to do a little extra preparation before getting out on the road. Also, they drive on the wrong side of the road in Hong Kong, too, though on the mainland they switch back to driving on the right. This means that all drivers drive on the left side of the road. I have seen some of these accidents. Abu Dhabi (not a country, but a state (an emirate) within the United Arab Emirates), Congo, Democratic Republic of the (Congo-Kinshasa), Congo, Republic of the (Congo-Brazzaville), Cyprus, North (unrecognised, self-declared state), Dubai (not a country, but a state (an emirate) within the United Arab Emirates), French Guiana (French overseas department), French Polynesia (French overseas collectivity), Micronesia (officially: Federated States of Micronesia), New Caledonia (French overseas collectivity), North Cyprus (unrecognised, self-declared state), Saint Barthélemy (French overseas collectivity, informally also referred to as Saint Barth’s or Saint Barts), Saint Martin (French overseas collectivity), Saint Pierre and Miquelon (French overseas collectivity), Somaliland (unrecognised, self-declared state), Tahiti (the largest island in French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France), Wallis and Futuna (French overseas collectivity). There are lots of accidents & deaths involving drivers with perfect driving records - until they tried driving on the opposite side of the road to what they were used to. Mozambique was colonised by the Portuguese, not the British, but it still adheres to left-hand side driving - probably because of its proximity to other left-sided driving countries. Christmas Island. Japan, thanks to its railway creation with aid from the British had their trams built on the left hand side, which heavily influenced their driving laws to drive on the left hand side of the road. In the early 20th century, over 100 cities drove on the left side of the road. The following is a list of countries of the world whose inhabitants drive on the left-hand side of the road. Why Do We Drive on Different Sides? English: A map indicating which countries drive on the right side of the road, and which drive on the left side. Essentially, the remaining left hand drive countries are the former British Empire plus Japan. Below are all countries that drive on the left side of the road, many of which are British Commonwealth countries. Why do some countries drive on the left and others on the right? Oceania. The reason is most commonly due to the nation’s historical association with the British. These include India, Indonesia, Ireland, Malta, Cyprus, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and most recently, Samoa in 2009. “The old story goes that people should walk or ride on the left, as in the U.K., because that way the sword arm (the right arm) will pass by the sword arm of the person … In 2009 for instance, Samoa became the first country for nearly 40 years to change its traffic side. Japan also drives on the left. In LHT areas, drivers will stay on the left side of the road, while RHT areas require drivers to stay on the right side of the road. If you are used to driving on the right, you need to concentrate at all times. The change was made to allow Samoans to buy cheaper imported left side drive (e.g., right-hand drive!) Click here if you want to find out the history behind driving on the left or right. Kenya, South Africa, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Namibia, Swaziland, Uganda, and Tanzania all drive on the left side of the road - which makes sense, seeing as they are all former British colonies. This world map shows which side of the road traffic drives on. While the majority travel to the right, many countries that were British colonies, including Australia, take to the left side of the road. Below the world map you can also find the full list of all countries of the world and the side of the road the inhabitants drive on. 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. Canadians used to drive on the left but changed to the right in the 1920’s to make travel between Canada and the USA easier. Chariot drivers and samurai warriors Originally, it’s believed that most people in ancient times would have used the left-hand side of the road to travel on, due to the fact that most people are right handed and would therefore carry reins in their dominant hand. Which Roman road ran from Dover, via London, to Wroxeter, in Shropshire? Today, only four European countries still drive on the left: the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus and Malta. Green coloured countries drive on the right, orange countries drive on the … Some countries have actually changed from right to left side driving. There are also parts of countries that drive on the left while the rest of the nation they belong to don't, which you may or may not want to include (in that case maybe mention in the description that all aren't independent countries), for instance Hong Kong … Conversely, driving a Right-Hand-Drive car (as in the UK and in countries listed in this article), driving on the left-hand side of the road will normally imply that the driver’s seat is on the right-hand side … The United Kingdom even played around … Not sure if that counts, it's only part of the country, but in at least one area of China they drive on the left. However, 34 transitioned to RHT laws by 1986. Even though about 75% of the world’s drivers are used to driving on the right side of the road, many countries still drive on the left. vehicles from nearby Australia, New Zealand and Japan. The right-side traffic tradition began to catch on, with Canada, Italy and Spain changing to right-side driving in the 1920s, a large part of Europe in the 1930s, and Scandinavia in the 1960s. While a majority of the world drives on the right-hand side of the road, 35% of countries prefer the left. Each country says whether vehicles will drive on the right-hand or left-hand side of the road. Green coloured countries drive on the right, orange countries drive on the left. 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. In fact, about 65% of people drive on the right. 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. Take particular care when pulling out from lay bays and driveways or when you are tired. Nauru. Most of these countries are islands but where land borders require a change from left to right, this is usually accomplished using traffic lights, cross-over bridges, one-way systems or similar. Click here if you want to find out the history behind driving on the left or right. This designates what side of the road a driver will stay on. About one-quarter of all of the world's roads and about 35% of the world's population drive on the road's left side. Kiribati. Can you name the countries who drive on the left side of the road? What if Britain gave up driving on the left? A quick research of the countries that drive on the left side of the road points to a common conclusion; that some European countries and almost all the British colonies use the left- hand side of the road. On a map this looks like a minority of the world. Almost always, in countries where one drives on the right-hand side of the road, the cars are built so that the driver sits on the left-hand side of the car. All Rights Reserved. Only four European countries remain with left-side driving; the United Kingdom, Malta, Cyprus, and Ireland. Then, following a national countdown on the radio, at 5am on September 3rd, 1967, Swedish motorists switched from the left to the right-hand side of the road… Besides Britain, what other countries drive on the left side of the road? This basic rule makes traffic move more easily. 75 Countries drive on the left. © 2003-2020 WorldStandards. … Why isn’t there a standard voltage around the world? Just four countries in Europe drive on the left-hand side of the road, can you name three? Europe generally drives on the right hand side apart from Cyprus, Ireland, Malta and the United Kingdom. became the third country ever to change from right- to left-hand driving. Fiji. The driving side of a road is the side where vehicles must drive. More than two thirds of the countries in the world drive on the right-hand side, including China and the USA. Today, only 35% of countries drive on the left. When the Highways Act of 1835 came into force, road users were legally bound to the left side of the road, and it has remained that way ever since. Many of the island nations are former British colonies and drive on the left, including … Hardknott Pass, with a maximum gradient of 1 in 3, is a minor road between Eskdale and the Duddon Valley in which English county? There are 163 countries that drive on the right-hand side of the road. Australia. The United Kingdom, Malta, Ireland, and Cyprus uses the left side of the road. It is very easy to have a lapse of concentration and to revert to habit. Conversely, driving on the left-hand side of the road usually implies that the driver’s seat is on the right-hand side of the car. As you can see, most former British colonies, with some exceptions, drive on the left side of the road, whereas the United States of America, Latin American countries and European countries drive on the right. Why isn’t there a universal standard electric plug? However, more nations and territories observe RHT – or right-hand traffic – which means that all drivers drive on the right side of the road. Esperanto: Mapo indikanta, en kiuj landoj oni veturas sur la dekstra flanko de la strato, kaj en kiuj oni veturas sur la maldekstra flanko . by Ben Plays Quiz Updated Oct 31, 2018 . This is sometimes called the rule of the road. There are also a few other territories with no particular connection to British history, but which drive on the left all the same: Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Macau. World map showing the spread of plug types. Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Historian and author Sean Stewart, who founded Berlin Historical Walks, describes the prevailing explanation for left-hand driving. Throughout the world, countries observe either left-hand traffic (LHT) or right-hand traffic (RHT.) 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