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Americans using left-hand drive

To: mgs@Autox.Team.Net
Subject: Americans using left-hand drive
From: David Tietz <>
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 22:44:58 -0400
Eric Erickson wrote:

>In fact I had always wondered why Americans drove on the "other"
>side of the road - is there an equally interesting answer to that.


I have read that in the early days of autos in the US, cars were made
with both right and left hand drive. Henry Ford decided to make all his
vehicles left hand drive so that right-handed people (which then, as
now, are in the majority) would have better control with levers and
knobs and dials and things. The relatively coarse movement of keeping
the car on the road can easily be done by the left hand/arm of a right
handed person when their right hand has left the wheel.

Henry, having no small part in our automobile history, had an impact
enough that other manufacturers, then legislatures followed the lead.

Speaking as a right-handed, left hand driver, it is hard to imagine
trying to shift my shifter, tune my radio, drink my coffee, adjust my
heater/AC controls, riffle through my glove box, adjust my choke (if I
had one), use my cigar lighter (back when I smoked), etc., etc., etc.
with my left hand... Of course, right-handed Brits (and others) do it,
but I have to believe it is a bit more difficult.

Henry just went with the numbers, and I think it was a good call for us.

Dave Tietz

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