October 07, 2003

*Ask Jen

Reader Jeff wants to know why Americans drive on the right while Europeans and others drive on the left.

The reason seems to come from the different ways farm wagons were developed and used.

In America, it was common for wagons to be built without a seat. The driver would walk alongside the left or ride the rear left animal pulling the wagon. This put the driver in optimal position to use a whip with his right hand. When the wagon encountered another wagon, each moved to the right to pass; ensuring they did not collide with one another.

In England the wagons were built with a driver's seat and a brake lever which was on the right...forcing the driver to sit on the right side. Therefore, when encountering another wagon, the drivers would move to the left to pass.

When the "horseless carriage" was invented, Americans and Europeans simply continued their own customs.

Do you have a question for me? You can e-mail it. If I know the answer, I'll answer it. If I don't, I might make something up.

Posted by Jennifer at October 7, 2003 12:57 AM


It is also easier to draw a pistol from your holster and fire across your body rahter than twisting your wrist outward, away from the body.
That's all really cool, but I'm left handed!

Jennifer - you have the neatest stuff over here!

Posted by: The Bartender at October 7, 2003 10:29 AM

Q: Why did the Siamese (conjoined) twins move to England?

A: So the other one could drive.

Posted by: mikey at October 9, 2003 01:29 PM