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Left hand drive/ Right hand drive

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posted on Nov, 21 2014 @ 02:08 PM
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I was just watching a very old black and white movie, it showed San Fransisco almost 100 years ago. In the movie it showed cars being driven down the street, with drivers on the right hand side. So this got me thinking about a question.
When did the car manufactures change driver position from right side to left side, here in America? I Googled the question but could not find the answer. So I decided to ask the question here. Hope some automotive historians will have the answer.




posted on Nov, 21 2014 @ 02:14 PM
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a reply to: Ceeker63

Can't tell you when, but I can tell you that the change was for the worse. If you think about and study it, left side driving is better for right handed people. You pass cars on your right, thus have a better view and better attention span on that side ...



posted on Nov, 21 2014 @ 02:16 PM
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a reply to: Ceeker63
They may have been imitating Europe, which has been using the right-hand side of the road since the French Revolution.



posted on Nov, 21 2014 @ 02:17 PM
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a reply to: Ceeker63

This is just my opinion as a driver. I am right handed, so it is more comfortable for me to approach things from the right side, thus we drive on the right; however, it is easier for me to gauge distance more accurately for things that are near to me than things that are further away. The few times I've clipped cones in traffic or clipped another driver's mirror on a crowded street has been on the passenger's side of my car.

If we drove on the right side of the road and sat on the right side of the vehicle, I think we'd clip much more cars head on, which would be deadly. If we drove on the left side of the road, it would feel unnatural to me. I honestly don't know how the British and Aussies arrived at left-side driving, but that is their thing, so more power to them.

I do like roundabouts though. I wish we had more of those in the US.



posted on Nov, 21 2014 @ 02:20 PM
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my guess would be

right handed people are a majority.
i think the driver position has to do with that.

back in the day it was all about shifting gears...

much easier for a right handed person to work the shifter with their right hand....

just a guess. my coordination with my left hand is terrible.

i think if i was in the right front, trying to work the gear shift with my left hand it would feel very unnatural to me.

thats the answer i am going with



posted on Nov, 21 2014 @ 02:24 PM
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a reply to: Ceeker63

Its an interesting topic,which I have read about in a few different books-here is the one which makes sense to me:


In the past, almost everybody travelled on the left side of the road because that was the most sensible option for feudal, violent societies.
Since most people are right-handed, swordsmen preferred to keep to the left in order to have their right arm nearer to an opponent and their scabbard further from him.
Moreover, it reduced the chance of the scabbard (worn on the left) hitting other people.
Furthermore, a right-handed person finds it easier to mount a horse from the left side of the horse, and it would be very difficult to do otherwise if wearing a sword (which would be worn on the left).
It is safer to mount and dismount towards the side of the road, rather than in the middle of traffic, so if one mounts on the left, then the horse should be ridden on the left side of the road.
In the late 1700s, however, teamsters in France and the United States began hauling farm products in big wagons pulled by several pairs of horses. These wagons had no driver’s seat; instead the driver sat on the left rear horse, so he could keep his right arm free to lash the team.
Since he was sitting on the left, he naturally wanted everybody to pass on the left so he could look down and make sure he kept clear of the oncoming wagon’s wheels. Therefore he kept to the right side of the road.


www.worldstandards.eu...

Its all about the old days.
Tradition is hard to change-its hard wired into us.

My worthy steed today is of German engineering and feeds on refined hydrocarbons not grass.
But sometimes I wish we were still on horses-much better for the planet and more fun and sociable than cars..




posted on Nov, 21 2014 @ 02:35 PM
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a reply to: Silcone Synapse

im going with the stick shift theory.
cars didnt have automatic over drive transmissions back in the day

no proof this is the reason. just a theory based on comfort and ergonomics



posted on Nov, 21 2014 @ 02:40 PM
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We tend to try to justify whichever way we learned. Although I learned in the US, some years I have driven more miles in the UK than in the US. IMO it takes about six months driving in the UK to "get it" so that you are driving intuitively without having to think through each maneuver in advance. It takes awhile to get your muscle memory to react in the correct manner. After that you can handle either way just as safely.



posted on Nov, 21 2014 @ 02:44 PM
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a reply to: Grovit
Feel the complete opposite, whenever have had to drive a left hand drive car have found changing gear with right hand while using clutch with left foot fo be completely unnatural feeling .
Plus think it is better to keep dominant hand on wheel.



posted on Nov, 21 2014 @ 03:14 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler
We tend to try to justify whichever way we learned. Although I learned in the US, some years I have driven more miles in the UK than in the US. IMO it takes about six months driving in the UK to "get it" so that you are driving intuitively without having to think through each maneuver in advance. It takes awhile to get your muscle memory to react in the correct manner. After that you can handle either way just as safely.


That is very true schuyler,and should be mentioned during the application of international driving licences.
But,L/RHD should not be the primary lessons in far off lands-

The lesson should be-in poor lands,smaller vehicles give way to larger vehicles.

That information could save lives.Take note people who will drive in far off lands.



posted on Nov, 21 2014 @ 03:19 PM
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a reply to: Nechash I use to go out to the Virgin Islands a lot. Out there people drive on the right side of the road. But the cars and trucks they use are left hand drive. That to me was just scary. I do not mind a left hand drive car, it is what we all grew up with, and learned how to drive. I was just curious as to when the change over happened.



posted on Nov, 21 2014 @ 03:35 PM
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OP you mena the footage of SF a few days before the famous earthquake?

I think the reason for that was because there weren't many road rules at the time there. So people were driving everywhere they felt like.



posted on Nov, 21 2014 @ 05:16 PM
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I live in France and we drive on the right side of the road. I drive a right hand drive imported UK car.

Overtaking is more awkward BUT I feel so much safer because in an accident with oncoming traffic I would not be as vulnerable as drivers sat in the left drivers seat who would probably suffer more damage. Also safer getting out directly onto a pavement or verge after parking.



posted on Nov, 21 2014 @ 05:19 PM
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originally posted by: Grovit
a reply to: Silcone Synapse

im going with the stick shift theory.
cars didnt have automatic over drive transmissions back in the day

no proof this is the reason. just a theory based on comfort and ergonomics


I think you are right on the money ... the gear and gouge probably played a role there.



posted on Nov, 22 2014 @ 04:59 AM
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a reply to: bjarneorn I do not think having a stick shift had anything to do with why the change for right side drive to left side drive happened. A stick shift sits in the middle.



posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 06:24 PM
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originally posted by: Silcone Synapse
a reply to: Ceeker63

Its an interesting topic,which I have read about in a few different books-here is the one which makes sense to me:



In the past, almost everybody travelled on the left side of the road because that was the most sensible option for feudal, violent societies.
Since most people are right-handed, swordsmen preferred to keep to the left in order to have their right arm nearer to an opponent and their scabbard further from him.
Moreover, it reduced the chance of the scabbard (worn on the left) hitting other people.
Furthermore, a right-handed person finds it easier to mount a horse from the left side of the horse, and it would be very difficult to do otherwise if wearing a sword (which would be worn on the left).
It is safer to mount and dismount towards the side of the road, rather than in the middle of traffic, so if one mounts on the left, then the horse should be ridden on the left side of the road.
In the late 1700s, however, teamsters in France and the United States began hauling farm products in big wagons pulled by several pairs of horses. These wagons had no driver’s seat; instead the driver sat on the left rear horse, so he could keep his right arm free to lash the team.
Since he was sitting on the left, he naturally wanted everybody to pass on the left so he could look down and make sure he kept clear of the oncoming wagon’s wheels. Therefore he kept to the right side of the road.



As far as I know, this is the correct explanation. The same is said of Japan about the tradition of passing each other to the left because of the sword position. You also didn't want your sword handle to catch on the other guys handle if you passed each other to the right.


Now in response to why did they standardize it one way or another... Well when you're seated on the left side of the vehicle you can easily judge where that side of the vehicle is, which is more important with the oncoming vehicles. Also overtaking in the US or any right-side driving, with a RHD car is very difficult/dangerous on a two-lane road because you have to move a good34feet of the car into the oncoming lane before you can see around the car in front of you...

I drove an imported Japanese car on US roads for some time so I know how much it sucks.

It's also a pain trying to make a left turn across an intersection with a car across the intersection making an opposing left turn. You just can't see around him to tell if you have a big enough gap or not.

Exiting the car directly onto the curb is nice though.

Obviously all of the same would be true of driving a LHD car on left-side-drive streets also.


Hong Kong / China is a funny situation with LHD and RHD, so they built a crazy crossover/twist bridge that puts you on the opposite side of the street when crossing the bay



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