Given the majority of people are right-handed, it seems to me that it would be more natural to drive on the right side of the road seated on the left side of the auto. In fact, the vast majority of the world (based on population 66% to 34% as of 1996) does drive on the right side of the road . Those that don't seem to have mainly been part of the British empire at some time in the past or had a lot of contact with them. Sort of like a disease.
After reading a note on this in the latest National Geographic, I did some Googling on the subject. The decision of which side to drive on is a lot more complicated that one might think. One story has it that in the past, "English cavaliers kept left so they could draw their swords with their right to fend off approaching highwaymen". Another talks about teamsters in France and Europe riding on the leftmost rear horse when pulling a load and staying right to be able to see the clearance of an oncoming wagon. And then of course, politics sometimes gets involved in some countries decision to choose left instead of right. Interesting stuff!
Which side of the road do they drive on?
IntroductionThis is an attempt to list which side of the road people drive on around the world, and to find some reasons why. The most authoritative reference that I am aware of on this subject is a book called The Rule of the Road: An International Guide to History and Practice by Peter Kincaid (Greenwood Press, 1986; 239 pages; ISBN 0-313-25249-1), available from the publisher at http://info.greenwoo...0313252491.html
. The Rule of the Road contains a lot of details about why various countries use one side of the road or the other and how they have switched between them. I have relied on Kincaid's book for many of the historical questions in this document and have referenced him accordingly. The list of countries in this document is not taken from Kincaid; it includes some additional territories as well as being more recently updated. Link