Are you planning an awesome holiday? Before you drive away, make sure you understand which side of the road traffic people drives on. Reversing the side of the road you usually drive on can be daunting, so it’s good to be prepared. As a general rule, England, and former British colonies such as New Zealand and Australia are on the left, while the USA, Latin America and Europe drive on the right. Asia is a mixed bag: China and the Philippines are right-handers, but in Japan cars travel on the left.
Use this handy map to know which side of the road you’ll drive on at your destination, and you will be alright! Or maybe all left! All the yellow coloured countries drive on the right side and all the blue coloured countries drive on the left side.
Do you know that the reasoning for these distinctions are historical? Back in the day, British horseback riders used to ride on the left hand side of the road, so they can keep their right arm free to offer greetings to passersby or, if it is necessary, draw their sword. On the other hand, USA teamsters used to sit on the left hand horse while driving a wagon so they can keep their right hand free for whipping the other horses. They settled to begin driving on the right in order to avoid collisions and to notice the passing wheels of other vehicles.
Here is an overview of left-side driving countries per continent:
In Oceania: Australia and dependencies, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, New Zealand, Nauru, Niue, Norfolk Island, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu.
In Europe: Great Britain and dependencies (Channel Islands, Isle of Man), Cyprus, Ireland, Malta.
Africa: Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. (off Africa: ) Mauritius, Saint Helena, Seychelles.
Asia: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, East Timor, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand.
In the Carribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, British Virgin Island, US Virgin Islands.
On mainland America: Guyana and Suriname. (off mainland America: ) Bermuda, Falkland Islands.
Please note that about one-third of the world’s countries require citizens to drive on the left side of the road, while the rest follow right-hand traffic rules.