what side of the road does australia drive on

Japan, the UK,and their former colonies, as well as the former colonies of the Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch colonies, kept to the left and the rest of the world kept to the right and this is pretty much the situation today and wont change in the foreseeable future.

A: Australia is one of the countries where cars drive on the left side of the road and pass on the right. Posted in Ever since the first automobiles hit the dirt roads of Aussie capital cities in the late 1800s, they have been rolling around on the left-hand side. Driversalso wanted to sit near the center of the road so they could avoid collisions with oncoming traffic. Left-hand traffic may be standard here in Australia, but its a trend that is in the vast minority around the world. The reasons for this are not entirely certain, but some believe it arose as a matter of safety. Join the ZME newsletter for amazing science news, features, and exclusive scoops.

Come to Mercedes-Benz of Littleton for the experience you deserve. In Australia, people drive on the left-hand side of the road. In the United States, meanwhile, many researchers trace the beginning of right-hand traffic to the 18th century and the rise of freight wagons pulled by large teams of horses. We all know how annoying it is to mount a horse with a sword in your sheath. A map where red countries drive on the right and blue countries drive on the left.

More eloquent solutions have been made, including the stunning Lotus Bridge connecting Macau a former Portuguese colony that adopted left-hand driving - to the right-hand driving Hengqin Island, part of China. 2022 A&E Television Networks, LLC.

These two countries later exported their driving styles to their respective colonies, which is why many former British territories such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India still drive on the left. This two-side-of-the-road world order continued until, well, you guessed it, the French Revolutionary War. Have you ever sat inside your car and wondered why in Australia we drive on the left-hand side of the road while our friends over in North America and Europe drive on the right? In 1300, the rule of the road was officially declared by Pope Boniface VIII: all pilgrims traveling to Rome should keep to the left. Most of Europe did the same.

Roughly a quarter of all countries around the world drive on the left, with the rest adopting right-hand traffic. In the 20th century, there was a movement to harmonize traffic. Australia is bigger than it looks on the globe; in fact, it's just about the size of the continental United States. But as many rental cars in Australia are automatics anyway, this doesnt tend to have a massive effect.

The only exception to the rule in Egypt, which Napoleon conquered before becoming a British dependent.Even though Japan was never part of the British Empire, they are also a left-hand driving country. Can I rent a car at Geraldton Airport in Western Australia?

We drive on the left for one reason and one reason only: Britain told us to.

They spread the practice throughout their former colonies like India and Australia, who still drive on the left side to this day.

Your reference number is. It's odd for Americans who are used to driving on the right and passing on the left, but Australia is not alone. By using our site, you agree to us collecting this information and to ourPrivacy Charter. They made a big deal about changing over the roads, buses, and signs on the day before the move!

Japan also drives on the left because they never really used large wagons, preferring horse-riding until much later.

The keep-left rule was also followed in the other great ancient kingdoms, such as Greece and Egypt. After gaining independence from England, however, they were anxious to remove any and all remaining links to the Crown and gradually changed from left to right-hand driving.

The groves on the left side (as seen away from the quarry) were much deeper than the ones on the other side which seems to indicate that the Romans drove on the left side of the road.

Australia ceased to be a collection of British colonies in 1901, when the country federated.

Australian Government: Australia's Size Compared, Australia: Driving with an Overseas License. It is believed that before the Revolution, the French aristocracy travelled on the left side of the road, forcing the peasantry over to the right. Driving in Australia? For example, Thailand is one of the countries that drive on the left, but neighbouring Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar all drive on the right.

We all dream of taking that Australian outback road trip. All Rights Reserved. When Napoleons conquests spread a new divide appeared.

The information provided is general advice only. Seated on the left, he would of, course, prefer other travelers also coming from the left so that he could keep clear of their wheels. And before you go, why not check out a few of the Mercedes-Benz 2020 models. Weekly.

RhinoCarHire: Which Countries Drive on the Left? Thats where instinct and learned behaviour kick in. The British did help Japan build its first railway system, however, which probably explains the connection.

Well, in the US, many folksin the 1800s werecontrolling teams of horses instead of riding just one.

Why some countries drive on the left and some on the right.

Thats before you get to the real long haul drives such as Sydney to Alice Springs, Darwin to Cairns or Perth to Broome.

In 1949, most of the worlds countries ratified theGeneva Convention on Road Traffic, agreeing to have a uniform direction of traffic throughout the country. The popular story says that Napoleon I changed this rule in Europe, either to dissuade conflict between his troops (by the same logic, not meeting each other with the right hand free) or to be different from his enemies, the British. Various countries through the years changed from left to right, but Australia remained one of the countries that remained left-side drivers. If you arent ready to drive on the other side of the road, why not tackle a road trip in the U.S. first? During ancient times, the Romans steered their chariots and carts with their left hand to have the right free to use weapons to defend against enemy attacks.Post-revolution France favoured the right-hand side of the road, while this practice carried over to the British and medieval Europe. When horses and carriages were first cruising through France, peasants and the poor ducked to the right side of the road while the aristocrats plowed through on the left. The reasons why the Romans chose the left is not entirely clear, but some believe it happened as a matter of safety. The same could be said for the knights of the British Empire several hundred years later. As a British colony up until we became a federation in 1901, Australia readily adopted left-hand traffic, no doubt because it made both cultural and economic sense to do so.

Remember that all exits should be on the left. Before cars were invented, people in Japan preferred to walk on the left for self-defense reasons. These wagons had no driver seat, but rather a bench, and the driver usually held the reins from the left side of the bench to keep his right hand free for whipping.

For a few years during WWII, the USmandated that the Okinawa Prefecture drive on the right, but Japan returned to driving on the left in 1978.

Nevertheless, with the rise of the automobile, many countries have switched to the right to fit in with their neighbours.

Besides, cars werent the first things to use roads sticking to the left was rule for horses, carts and carriages long before motoring was popular. Despite the near-consensus to drive on the right, there are a few holdouts. As the wagons became more popular, traffic naturally moved to the right so drivers could sit closer to the center of the road and avoid collisions with one another. Your valid U.S. license is all that you will need to drive in Australia as a tourist except in the Northern Territory. So if you want to venture there, a car would definitely come in handy. If youre from the rest of the world, you might think the Brits are crazy for driving on the left. British horseback riders started the trend of left-side riding to keep their right hand available to wave to friends or draw a sword to face enemies. Remember how the Romans chose toride on the left to draw their swords more conveniently? So how does Napoleon fit into all of this? States that were with Napoleon remained right-side driving while Napoleons resistance countries like Portugal, Hungary and Britain kept to left-hand driving. Why Do Some Countries Drive on a Different Side of the Road? How many people are killed by crocodiles in Australia.

The biggest danger zone when driving on the other side of the road tends to be when youre coming out of a car park.

All rights reserved. Archaeological evidence has suggested that the ancient Romans may have driven their carts and chariots on the left-hand side of roads and paths with this practice being carried throughout the rest of medieval Europe.

2022 Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) All rights reserved. After the Middle Ages, European countries like France and England started to make their own choice about which side of the road to prefer. But who isnt more than a little afraid of driving on the other side of the road. Australia has followed Great Britain by driving on the left-hand side. All of a sudden, being rich and ostentatious was asking for trouble, so the aristocrats did their best to blend in with the poor on the right side of the road. Researchers have traced the beginning of right-hand traffic to the 18th century and the rise of freight wagons pulled by large teams of horses. In the early years of English colonisation of North America, English driving customs were followed, and the colonies drove on the left. An official keep-right rule was introduced in Paris in 1794. No Comments . 227678. 230039 receives commission for each policy sold or renewed. Brazil changed to right-hand traffic in 1928 at the same time as Portugal.

The legal drink drive blood alcohol limit is also lower in Australia. After the storming of the Bastille and the subsequent revolutionary events, the aristocrats preferred to keep a low profile and joined the peasants on the right-hand side of the road. The origin of this law is as complicated as it is vague, and there are many legends that have persisted in an attempt to explain its origins. So how did those other countries wind up going the other way? During the English Colonization of North America, colonies drove on the roads left, however as soon as they gained independence, they wanted to cast off the links with their past and changed over to driving on the right.

And isnt it easier to impale your enemies if they are approaching from the side of your dominant hand?

What isn't quite clear is why although cars are driven on the left-hand side of the road in Britain yet they keep to the right-hand side of someone on an escalator Canada abandoned the left side of the road in the 1920s to facilitate traffic to and from the United States. The driver of the Conestoga always sat on the left hand, rear animal and because most drivers were right handed, this gave them better control of the line of animals on the right as well as in front of the driver. Some classics include: All of these are amusing anecdotes, with some small hints of truth buried in them, but they dont tell the whole story.

They continued to drive on the left untilthey were annexedby Germany in WWII, at which point they were forced to drive on the right likethe rest of Europe. But why does Australia drive on the left? This is something that perplexes the world driving on the right side.This practice is believed to be coming from ancient Rome. This was followed by whose side you want to be on, those that supported Napoleon or stuck steadfastly with the British. Fortunately, most rental cars in Australia are automatic, so you won't have to get used to shifting gears with the "wrong" hand. And so, the first-ever written law outlining left-hand traffic was created.

These are a few of the hypotheses by historians who try to figure out why Romans initially road on the left side of the road. Because Britain had firmly adopted left-hand traffic by then, they designed the rail network with left-hand traffic in mind. Protect what's important with RACV Motor Insurance , Cupra disrupt traditional car sales model and lure buyers to the meta-hive, Classic VW Kombi restored to its former glory, How to maintain your car in winter cold weather, Most people are right-handed, thats why most of the world drives on the right, When horses are being led, the tradition is to lead them with your right hand, so people would walk on the right-hand side of the road to keep their horses separate, Swords are usually held in the right hand, so people needed to walk on the left-hand side for self-defense.

Another major influence that locked the US into right-hand driving was carmaker Henry Ford, whose mass-produced Model T came with a left-positioned steering wheel, which required it to be driven on the right side of the road. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices. The rest of the world drive on the right side of the road.

Australians drive on the left side of the road along with 76 other countries. Sweden was the last country in continental Europe to switch! A few examples include Canada in the 1920s,Sweden in 1967, and Nigeria in 1972. For copies, visit racv.com.au. Because the majority of humans (around 85-90%) are right-handed,anthropologists reason that societies from the RomanEmpire through the Middle Ages generally chose to hold their reigns in the left hand, thereby freeing up the dominant hand for weapons.

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Andrei's background is in geophysics, and he's been fascinated by it ever since he was a child.

harvester kb6 saleofcar Home | Travel Destinations | Lifestyle | Readers' Choice Awards A division of USA TODAY | Weekly Deals. Since Napoleon was left-handed, it was said that he found it an intimidating military tactic to drive on the right side of the road. The parts of Canada and the US that still drove on the left moved to the right. So, a new job was created for someone to sit on the bridge and get traffic from one direction to stick to one side of the bridge, and from the other direction to stick to the other.

How did this happen? If youre from countries like the UK or Australia, you probably cant understand why other countries drive on the right.

As you can imagine, it got a bit confusing, so London lawmakers wrote up a law which said that all carts coming from London needed to travel on the east side of the bridge, and traffic coming into London needed to travel on the west-side.

Many of the left-side driving countries were once English colonies or associated with Britain. Is your vehicle protected? Before rail, the United States relied a lot on large wagons pulled by teams of horses to transport goods across great distances, similar to Australias now-famous road trains.

More Australia: Australia 2020 Things to do! For a start, distances are in kilometres rather than miles, and speed limits are different from in the UK. There is reason to believe this rule was kept and followed as centuries passed, either as a custom or as law. enable JavaScript in your browser.

And then there are the areas that can only be accessed with a 4WD vehicle. As the wagons became more popular, traffic naturally moved to the right so drivers could sit closer to the centre of the road and avoid collisions with those passing in the opposite direction.

In 1669, London had a bit of a traffic problem. Thank you for submitting the form. Because of where they sat, they preferred to drive on the right so they could better see when other wagons overtook them.

Apparently, its easier to defend yourself with a sword if its holstered on the arm closest to your opponent.

The right/left divide among nations is said to have begun in a custom from centuries ago. Ecotherapy: The Advantages And How Get One With Nature? With road building and travel expansion in the 1800s, every country instilled traffic regulations. As I understand it, the reason for US people driving on the right was the Conestoga wagon. But where does this striking difference come from?

A question everybody asks and wonders about, is why do they drive on the left? So why then does most of the world drive on the right? There you will also need an International License. That means that the steering wheels on rental cars are on the right-hand side, so the driver is closest to the center of the road.

In 1709 Russia, the Danish noticed that traffic passed on the right but in 1752 an edict was passed that Russians should keep to the right. While there are very few countries around the world that border another who drive on the opposite side of the road, there are a few. What is the biggest national park in Australia?

This practice spread through most of Europe, but England wasnt a big fan of large wagons, and so they remained on the left. Copyright 2014www.10best.com. For example, don't phone or text while you drive using a handheld device, or you risk a ticket. One of the few countries in mainland Europe to avoid this fate wasCzechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic). Our team of independent expert car reviewers and journalists, Find out how much your car is worth within minutes, List your car today to reach genuine buyers and sell for a great price, A hassle-free way to sell your car in 24 hours and get paid fast, The Marshalite was the Melbourne made traffic signal that never took off, Florence Lawrence, the movie star who invented the turn signal.

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Car exports have encouraged some countries to switch to driving on the right.

France and Britain brought this driving style to their own countries and you will notice that former British territories also drive on the left.Another good explanation is that in ancient times everybody drove on the left, especially in feudal and violent countries where most people are right-handed.

American and European visitors will have to get used to right hand drive vehicles.

A four wheel drive is essential to drive on Fraser Island in Queensland, or across Cahills Crossing in the Northern Territory, for example.

Similar laws were passed in 1804 in New York and 1813 in New Jersey. It should be noted tat Australian wagons could carry up to 38,000 lbs. Read, enjoy and share. Because of wherein they sat, they favored to pressure at the proper so they might higher see while different wagons overtook them.

Whether it is true or not or if it is a fable or myth, we wouldnt know. It's best to get answers to all your questions before you stand in line at the car rental agency in Sydney. Why Australian Should Not Become a Republic?

A: Many other rules governing driving in Australia echo U.S. rules. Kangaroo. The newest car brand to land in Australia will bypass the traditional dealership sales model in favour of an online, fixed-priced agency agreement to target the younger market. A: The wildlife you have to look out for most on Australian roads? Well, it turns out that driving on the left came first!

In fact, try to avoid city centers altogether.

How much does car hire in Launceston cost? The French journey toward this decision might surprise you, however! If we want to get to the source of that, we have to go back even further to Roman times. But coming from a country which drives on the right such as the US or anywhere else in Europe this can be off-putting.

Though Japan was never a British colony, the reason they drive on the left nowadays is partially due to British influence. Naturally, carts would enter a quarry empty and leave it full of rocks, and this was visible at the site. If so, you must keep it warm and take it to the nearest ranger or rescue center.

These two countries exported their preferred driving styles across to their respective colonies, which is why today, most of the former British Empire territories such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India still drive on the left. But driving in a foreign country always has a few kinks.

If you pick up a hire car in Cairns or an Uluru rental vehicle, youll probably get used to it being right hand drive surprisingly quickly.

The majority of people are right handed, one theory goes, so driving or riding on the left would have allowed them to wield a weapon with their dominant hand if they crossed paths with an enemy.

As years passed more countries veered towards the right side of the road driving, however, Britain kept steadfast to remain driving on the left. For example,Samoa switched from right to left to match Australia and New Zealand in 2009. Archaeological evidence suggests that the ancient Romans may have driven their carts and chariots on the left, and the practice seems to have carried over into parts of medieval Europe.

Very serious penalties apply.

In fact, 75 countries fall into the left-hand-drive category.

If possible, pick up the car from an agency on the outskirts of town, rather than face immediate city driving.

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From there it was much easier for Japanese society to themselves drive on the left when cars became commonplace. You have entered an incorrect email address! Therefore, former British countries and Britain remained left-hand drivers. Since these vehicles often didnt have a drivers seat, drivers tended to ride on the left rear horse to more easily control their herds with their right hand. Repeat to yourself the saying some car rental companies pin to the inside of the car: "Alive left; dead right.". Left-hand traffic finally became the law across Britain in 1773 and 1835. One theory suggest that because the majority of people were right handed, driving or riding on the left would have allowed them to wield a weapon with their dominant hand if they crossed paths with an enemy. So why then did Britain adopt left-hand traffic?

You and every passenger in your car must wear a seat belt, or you risk a ticket and fine. What are the biggest cities in Australia? Travelling King: What to do if You Hit a Kangaroo?

This horse-centric way of driving differed from the English tradition but paved the driving on the right layout of Henry Fords Model T. Colonization from Britain or France explains most of the global distribution for driving on a certain side of the road.
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