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Saturday, 12 August 2017

Right-hand traffic

Most of Europe followed the Roman practice of driving on the left hand side but the French seemed determined to change everything after their revolution in 1789, including the side of the road on which they drove. Napoleon strongly supported right-hand driving, partly as a show of his authority but perhaps also because he was left-handed.

Right hand drive in France

The Americans started by driving on the left but not long after their revolution, anti-British sentiment made them copy the French.

Until 1965, driving was done on the left-hand side on roads in Sweden. The conversion to right-hand was done on a weekday at 5 p.m.  On September 3, 1965 all traffic stopped as the Swedes switched sides. The later time in the day was chosen to prevent accidents out of concern that the drivers would have got up in the morning and been too sleepy to realize 'this' was the day of the changeover.

Traffic moves from left to right in Stockholm, Sweden, on 3 September 1967

Two out of three people who live on Earth drive on the right side of the road.

Source Washington Post

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