The right side or the left

UnavngivetTraffic can be quite complicated.

Some countries must keep to the right on the way other countries to the left
there are many theories, but none seems plausible to
why there is a difference.

In the very old days when traffic was by foot or on horseback
is the explanation that people stayed the left side of the road
to keep the hand with the sword free, facing the other traffic
if it should be necessary to pull the sword
but why then switch to driving on the right ..?

Some stories or myths
gives the french emperor Napoleon all the blame
because he was left-handed.

But it does not stand with the fact
that many countries introduced right-hand traffic
many years before Napoleon was born.

Is there any logical explanation at all
or is it just another example of politics ..?



26 tanker om “The right side or the left

  1. In generale tutto deriva dai cavalieri che tenevano l’arma con la destra e tenendo le carrozze il senso di marcia a sinistra, matenevano comunque la mano destra libera per scambiarsi saluti o per usare la stessa arma. É interessante sapere perché noi guidiamo a destra. La tradizione deriva infatti da un decreto napoleonico. Fu Napoleone che volle cambiare il senso di marcia nel suo impero e quindi in pratica più o meno in tutta Europa.Gli inglesi,tradizionalisti per antonomasia, e non sottomessi da Napoleone,mantennero l’antica usanza.
    Per ultimo,non é solo in Gran Bretagna che si guida a sinistra, in quasi tutte le ex colonie vige la stessa norma, vedi l’India, Tailandia, Australia….

    • #.giovanna
      You are absolutely right, many say that it was Napoleon who introduced the right-hand traffic – partly to be different than the british – partly to be different than the pope and the catholic church – but actully a number of countries had introduced it even before Napoleon was born among other Denmark too – but why the danes introduced it – nobody knows… 😉

      But it is sure that Napoleon introduced the rules of the road for the parisians – because the traffic was chaos in Paris in a tangle between horse carriages, riders, children, pedestrians, poultry, dogs and whatever else – and these rules including to keep to the right… 😉

  2. Now that is an interesting though. But why then do the English drive on the wrong side of the road? I had heard that castles have their winding staircase in the direction so that your opponent cannot use their right arm.

  3. That is an interesting question to pose. I don’t have the answer but I would like to add…
    I was a young man of 18 and out with a group of friends at a local pub. At the end of the evening we accepted an offer of a lift home by a woman in the group because none of us owned a car.
    She was out celebrating her birthday, as she began to drive off she declared because it was her birthday she could drive down the middle of the road……
    Thankfully we convinced her to get back onto the correct side of the road before we passed any traffic.

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