Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Europeans drive on the wrong side of the road (gun related)

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Horsesense, Jun 20, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Horsesense

    Horsesense Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2003
    Messages:
    565
    Why Europeans drive on the wrong side of the road (gun related)

    My sister recently went on a tour of Scotland and on one of the tour's, the guide explained that when passing on horseback, riders would want to have room to draw their sword and fight if necessary. Because most people were right handed, they would pass with the stranger on the right.

    The guide told the story with the expected dramatic flair and as the people on the tour, a mixture of American and other Europeans, silently contemplated the violent image the guide had painted, my sister nonchalantly spoke up and said “in America, we just carry guns” :neener:
     
  2. TallPine

    TallPine Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    7,734
    Location:
    somewhere in the middle of Montana
    Nice comeback :D

    Though I have heard that some Scots consider fighting with guns to be a "sissy" endeavor, compared to fighting face to face with the claidheamh ;)
     
  3. zahc

    zahc Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Messages:
    1,961
    Location:
    TX
    That makes sense. From what I heard the reason we drive on the right in アメリカ is that cargo wagons in the old days originally had the driver's pod on the left side.

    I do like her comeback, though.
     
  4. Tory

    Tory member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    Messages:
    911
    Scotland isn't "Europe" and

    EUROPEANS DO drive on the right.

    Only those countries which were under British rule drive on the left, except Canada, where it made more sense to accommodate the Americans.
     
  5. The Grand Inquisitor

    The Grand Inquisitor Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Messages:
    791
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA
    Tory is 100% correct.

    Driving is rational in every country in the world except for the ones in which the British botched. After living in australia for a year or so, I almost got used to driving on the left, but it still never really settled in getting in on the passenger side...


    All that said, Australia is the greatest country on Earth, even with its awful gun and driving laws.
     
  6. Zen21Tao

    Zen21Tao Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,960
    Location:
    Gainesville, Fl
    Well, I guess I would rather live a "sissy" life than to die a "manly" death. :D :evil:
     
  7. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    48,576
    Location:
    0 hrs east of TN
    Cute, but bad comeback since it plays into the Cartoon Cowboy image of Americans.
     
  8. EOD Guy

    EOD Guy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    982
    Location:
    Concord, CA
    Not quite. Drivers, in both Japan and Thailand, neither of which was ever under British rule, drive on the left side of the road.

    There are 74 countries, islands, territories, etc, that drive on the left, including the US Virgin Islands. Most did have British influence at one time or currently do.

    The World of Left Side Driving
     
  9. Crimson

    Crimson Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Messages:
    61
    I heard the reason that one must drive on the left was that people had to walk past the king of the left side. The sword thing makes more sense.

    People drive on the left in Ireland too.
     
  10. ProficientRifleman

    ProficientRifleman Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Messages:
    579
    The first post in this thread is corect. Pass on the left becasue you would have your sword in your right hand.

    Now, look at the re-enactment of a Joust. They pass on the RIGHT SIDE of the fence! It makes no sense at all!

    Instead of passing on the left, which would put your lance almost dead on if maybe 5 degrees offset, they (now-a-days) pass on the right which offsets your lance by 30-35 degrees at the moment of impact. Someone should school those silly re-enactors!

    But hey, what do I know. Prolly nuttin.
     
  11. asiparks

    asiparks Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Messages:
    240
    Location:
    portland, the rainy one
    I think that the intention with jousting is to merely topple or mildly maim your opponent, rather than run them through with a large stick at 20 mph. Perhaps after running low on valiant Knights, a switch to the right seemed in order.
     
  12. M67

    M67 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    768
    Location:
    Norway
    "British" Canadians used to drive on the left, "French" Canadians on the right. Newfoundland was the last to change over, in 1947. So maybe the Canadians didn't change to accomodate the Americans, maybe it was the English-speakers of North America who changed to accomodate Quebec and Louisiana? :p

    Gibraltar has right-hand driving, despite being British.

    The US Virgin Islands has left-hand driving, despite being the ex Danish Virgin Islands bought by the US in the early 20th century, and as such never had a left-hand drive mother country.
     
  13. cambeul41

    cambeul41 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Messages:
    1,186
    Location:
    Southeast Michigan
    One jousts with the lance in the right hand

    My understanding is that the English set up their traffic rules to make it more convenient to fight those they encountered on the road, and the Europeans set theirs to make it more difficult.


    I will refrain from turning this into an ethnic joke.
     
  14. Cromlech

    Cromlech Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Messages:
    695
    Location:
    England, U.K.
    Erm . . .I understand that we are the odd ones out, so to speak, but what is inherently wrong with driving on the left?

    The steering wheel is on the right hand side of the cars here in the U.K, so it's not like we are at a disadvantage when it comes to visibility or anything else.

    If you mean it's silly because of a lack of conformity/uniformity with the rest of Europe or America, well we have kind of been driving on the left of the road here for almost 2000 years (As well as the rest of Europe up until that nitwit Napoleon, who was left handed, changed it) .


    Those crazy Romans and their wacky ideas.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left_hand_drive

    ^This article also explains the advantadges and disadvantadges of both RHD and LHD.^
     
  15. cambeul41

    cambeul41 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Messages:
    1,186
    Location:
    Southeast Michigan
    Absolutely nothing is inherently wrong with driving on the left.

    But those of us who are practiced in driving only on either side can make a total balls-up by turning corners and in the process, reverting to our normal side of the road.
     
  16. Cromlech

    Cromlech Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Messages:
    695
    Location:
    England, U.K.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Yeah, so it really boils down to a lack of conformity. I drive a forklift which is single seat (dead centre) and that is easy, as well as an electric buggy that has the steering wheel on the left hand side. It is still extremely easy to drive on the left hand side of the road.

    I guess some people won't be able to adapt as easily though.
     
  17. Tory

    Tory member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    Messages:
    911
    One possible reason...

    Most people are RIGHT-handed, thus making LH drive (gear shift in the middle, on top of the tranny) easier for the majority. Other than that, it is a fairly arbitrary decision, such as reading left-right v. right left or top-down v. bottom-up.

    Being fairly ambidextrous, I had little problem shifting my RHD Sprite. As road courses run CLOCKWISE in this country, I had a marginal advantage in weight distribution. ;)
     
  18. Cromlech

    Cromlech Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Messages:
    695
    Location:
    England, U.K.
    The article I posted a link to makes the claim that the stronger hand can be better suited for using the steering wheel, rather than a simple stick. Although saying that, It also argues the point for using your strong hand for the gear change , so whataya gonna do? :D
     
  19. acdodd

    acdodd Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Messages:
    439
    How are the accelerator and clutch pedals arranged?
    Same as in the US or reversed?
    When I was in Australia I rode with a local guy but we were all too drunk for me to notice. Mostly I was just holding on for my life. I was glad to get to the next bar so I could walk back to the fleet landing.
    AC
     
  20. Cromlech

    Cromlech Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Messages:
    695
    Location:
    England, U.K.
    From left to right:

    Clutch
    Brake
    Accelerator
     
  21. TallPine

    TallPine Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    7,734
    Location:
    somewhere in the middle of Montana
    I used to work with a guy that told me about driving those huge off road dump trucks - I think they were hauling fill for a dam or something.

    The trucks were something like 12 feet wide and the haul road was built just wide enough to accomodate two way traffic.

    The trucks were RH drive but they drove on the left side - the idea was that it was easier to just follow the road edge than try to make sure you were over far enough but not too far to pass oncoming trucks. I don't think they drove particularly slow, either ;)

    So there is a different twist to the question.
     
  22. The_Antibubba

    The_Antibubba Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Messages:
    2,665
    Location:
    Sac, The PRK
    So how does one explain the drivers in South Florida, where there seem to be no road conventions at all? :eek: :eek: :eek:
     
  23. Wheeler

    Wheeler Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Messages:
    107
    It is my understanding that the traffic on London Bridge became so bad, what with the hawkers and vendors, that a law, (not sure if it was a city thing or a royal edict) was passed having all traffic move to the left of the road. Over time, it passed on to the road system.

    The American system of travelling on the RIGHT side of the road came about prior to the Revolution. The aim was to find a way to collide with, and almost pick a fight with British soldiers.

    Regarding the drawing and use of a sword, it became customary for a bodyguard or servent to travel on the right side of the leader, master, lord, etc, in order to not damage said august personage whilst drawing the sword to defend his life, honor or possesions.

    It sounds like the variation told by the tour guide was a bit of creative embellishment most likely to liven up the tour.

    Now, who knows where the 21 gun salute comes from? :D

    Wheeler
     
  24. Cromlech

    Cromlech Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Messages:
    695
    Location:
    England, U.K.
    It is also believed to have have started in the Roman times (Evidence found in Swindon U.K), and almost every country in Europe drove (Carts and horses) on the left hand side of the road until the 1800's. Then Napoleon changed it to the right hand side, probably because he was left-handed. Check the link that I posted earlier for confirmation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left_hand_drive
     
  25. alellis

    alellis Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Messages:
    35
    I was told that most of the world marched on the left untill napoleon gave the order that his army and any under his command would march on the right.

    So that no matter where he went he would meet the British head on.

    Also I seem to recall a european country changing sides some time in the sixties.

    I can't be too sure of the year but I was a kid at school and remember watching it on the news they showed all the road signs being put up on the other side of the road and covered until a certain night at midnite. Then everyone had to change over to driving on the other side and going round roundabouts the other way.

    They reported that there were hardly any accidents at least not nearly as many as were anticipated.

    Anyone got more info.


    al
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page