One of those countries was Great Britain, which in 1835 made it mandatory to drive on the left side of the road. All other members of the British Empire followed suit, and that’s the main reason why New Zealand and 73 other countries are right-hand drive today.
Why does NZ drive on the left?
In New Zealand, vehicles drive on the left-hand side of the road. It is essential to keep left, because if you don’t you are likely to cause a head-on crash. This is one of the worst types of crash, as it almost always results in death or serious injury.
Why does the US drive on the left?
When cars were invented, Henry Ford was a big influence in American driving customs as he built his Model T with the driver on the left side of the car, meaning drivers would have to drive on the right side of the road so their passengers could exit the car on the curb and not into oncoming traffic.
Why do some countries drive on the left side of the road?
The practice is believed to date back to ancient Rome. Romans steered their carts and chariots with the left hand, to free up the right so they could use weapons to defend against enemy attacks. This carried over into medieval Europe and in 1773, the British government passed measures to make left-hand traffic the law.
Do New Zealand drive on the left or right?
Like the UK, Australia and Japan, New Zealanders drive right-hand drive cars on the left-hand side of the road.
Is it better to drive on the left or right?
Neither side is intrinsically better or worse. Despite handedness, accident rates in countries that drive on the left or right are comparable. There is no ‘logical’ answer to this question that is separate from the facts of the matter.
Is USA left-hand drive?
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. … Click here if you want to find out the history behind driving on the left or right.
Why did Sweden drive on the left?
Sweden initiated the driving change in part because its neighbors already drove on the right side of the road. Many members of the Swedish parliament also argued that the left-hand vehicles Swedes drove had caused too many head-on collisions.
Why do Brits drive on the wrong side of the road?
Have you ever wondered why the British drive on the left? There is an historical reason for this; it’s all to do with keeping your sword hand free! … Most people are right-handed, so if a stranger passed by on the right of you, your right hand would be free to use your sword if required.
What is the world’s most populous country that drives on the left?
India. While smaller than Australia in area at 1.27 million square miles, India’s population is significantly higher at 1.37 billion, which makes it the largest left-driving country in the world by population.
Why does India drive on the right?
Rather than sitting on a coach box, the coachman would ride on the left rear horse so that he could spur on the team of horses by using his whip on the right. This made it more advantageous for carriages to pass on each other’s left side, giving rise to driving on the right.
Does Australia drive on the left?
The bulk of countries that drive on the left are former British colonies including South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Only four countries in Europe still drive on the left and they are all islands. They consist of the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Malta and Cyprus.
Can you drive to NZ from UK?
In summary, if you are visiting NZ from the U.K. and have any concerns as to the driving conditions; be assured you have nothing to fear. If you can drive on the IK you can drive anywhere. Welcome to New Zealand. Land of the long open highway.
Is it safer to drive on the left?
Left Hand countries deliver safer driving
In left-hand traffic systems, the better-perfoming right eye is used to monitor oncoming traffic and the driver’s wing mirror. In right-hand traffic, the weaker left eye takes over. Plus, left-sided driving is safer for the elderly due to their failing visual abilities.
What is legal drinking age in New Zealand?
Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012
If you are 18 years or older you can enter any licensed premises and buy and drink alcohol, as long as you can provide acceptable proof of age identification such as a driver licence, Hospitality New Zealand (HANZ) 18+ card or passport.