When it comes to driving, the clever the British (needless to say) have got it right whereas most of the rest og the world has got it wrong.
British roads are the safest in the world. Less people are killed on British roads each year than almost every other industrialised nation on Earth. Maybe that has to do with the fact that our cars drive on the left of the road and so our steering wheels are on the right hand side of the car?
How does having a steering wheel on the right hand side of the car make driving in Britain safer?
The reason is because the majority of the people in the world are right-handed.........
This was posted on a discussion forum -
Driving on the left.
Driving on the left is correct for RIGHT-HANDED people - the great majority of people, here is why:
When changing gear in a UK car with the steering wheel on the right , this is of course correct in the UK etc for driving on the left--------your left hand changes gear and your right hand stays on the steering wheel, (this is safer for right handed people.)
The reverse is the case in countries where one must drive on the right.-- in other words if you live in the USA you hold the steering wheel with your left hand and change gear with your right hand because of course the steering wheel is on the left in the USA--------this is dangerous if you are right handed.
Bicycles: Bike riders are in real danger in countries where driving on the right is mandatory again assuming you are right handed----Try mounting a bike in the USA and you will find yourself in the stream of traffic when getting on the bike---- try it yourself---------: Mounting a bike in the UK is done from the sidewalk by right handed people who find it easier to put their right leg over the bike. , Much safer and this must have saved many lives.
Reversing up a steep drive: My drive in the UK is very steep----------when I reverse out I hold the steering wheel with my right hand and look over my left shoulder to the rear window. In a USA car you must hold the steering wheel with your left hand and look over your right shoulder to look out of the rear window.. So you must reverse with your left hand on the steering wheel.. Or stick your head out of the window if you want to use your right hand on the steering wheel. ---Dangerous for the 82% right handed majority.
Right handed people who are also "right eyed" have the traffic coming toward them on their right in left hand driving areas , which is the way "right eyed" people are able to react better. When overtaking on a right hand driving USA road the right eyed/handed driver looks in the mirror with the left eye and also views the oncoming traffic with the left eye. A change of gear is sometimes needed to overtake so he/she is driving left handed while changing gear with the right hand and looking in the mirror and oncoming traffic with the left eye. Of course the gear change should in theory be completed before pulling out but this in practice is not always the case. The prevalence of automatic gear change in the USA may not be just luxury after all but necessity
Perhaps a billion cyclists in right hand driving areas around the world are all risking their lives mounting their bike in traffic. Also In right hand driving areas a greater number of people reverse with their heads out of the window and hundreds of millions of right handed drivers hold the steering wheel at speed with their left hand. There are over 6 billion people in the world today and billions of people using road transport. Driving on the left is safer and provably safer for right handed drivers; however I concede that because over 60% of the world drives on the right there is no prospect of a global change to driving on the left.
Christopher (Chris) Davison London UK
Recent research shows 5 out of 6 people naturally use the right hand:
"A systematic study * of the distribution of manipulative skill has been carried out by Marian Annett and colleagues from the Department of Psychology at Leicester University. Annett and Kilshaw (1983) found that in a group of 1480 adolescents and adults, using a simple peg-moving task apparatus to assay hand skill, 82 % were more skilled with the right hand, 3% were equally skilled with each hand, and 15 % were more skilled with the left hand. When the disparity of skill between the two hands is plotted as a histogram, it becomes apparent that skill asymmetry is normally distributed: there is no clear separation into the two conventional handedness groups"
"A natural preference for the left hand in skilled tasks develops in as many as one individual in six. " Meaning of course that 5 out of 6 naturally use the right hand. (* Reproduced with permission of Leicester University UK ).