I am, of course, not meaning to suggest that driving on the left is the only thing that makes British roads so safe. We are also very efficient and catching and punishing traffic offenders. The Japanese also have very safe roads, and live on a crowded island with high car-ownership, and lots of tired drivers working long hours. They too drive on the left.
There are reasons that driving on the left was the norm. One is that a right-footed person naturally mounts a horse from its left, and this led to horses' being trained to be mounted this way, and getting jittery if anyone tried it the other way around. British roads are not the safest in every way. I read, while researching this video, that other comparable countries suffer fewer child pedestrian accidents. It has been suggested that this may be because the British are so very cautious, and use barriers and the like to stop children running out into the road from schools. One possible result of this is that children end up feeling that they are safe, and so do not look after themselves so well.
Another example of a lop-sided ape effect is the oft-repeated 'fact' that clockwise sections of ring roads, such as the M25 motorway around London, have 75% of the total accidents on the road, and the anti-clockwise sections just 25% (e.g. http://www.motoringassist.com/blog/2011/11/03/happy-birthday-m25/1777/). However, while researching this video, I couldn't find a reliable source for this, so I left it out, but I would be surprised if there isn't a difference.
I know I'll gets asked, so here's the source of the stat at the end:
Tagged under: traffic,car,drive,driving,road,safety,accident,crash,left,side,Britain,UK
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