Why Does England Drive On The Left? (9 Reasons Why)

If you want to drive in England, you probably have many questions about why they go on the left side of the road.

Although driving on the left parameter of the vehicle is often the rule, this is not the case everywhere. Some countries, including the USA, have opposite-side driving. So here’s what I’m going to crack about why England accelerates on the left side of the car!

Why Does England Drive On The Left?

1. Roman Era

Near Swindon, England, archaeologists reached a Roman quarry by a track discovered in 1998.

At this time, they discovered the road’s left side had more profound markings than its right. Thus, archaeologists theorized that the Romans drove on the left.

Furthermore, historians believe that the history of horse transportation solidified left-hand driving in England.

Evidently, during the Roman Era, these Greeks were the first to introduce the left-driving system among their colonies!

2. British Identity

Although the UK has long been seen as a melting pot of cultures, driving in England has been implemented on the left since the Roman Era.

In the past, the Roman influence was believed to be more helpful for this country’s crowded and narrow highways.

Due to the dominations, moving the wheels from side to side made it simpler for horse-drawn carriages to pass by one another.

As a result, many Britons believe that driving on the left is more representative of British society, particularly in driving!

3. London Bridge Traffic Law

Due to traffic congestion in the 18th century, the driver would sit to the right to have full access to his whip hand because most individuals are right-handed.

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Concerning this, the regulation was implemented in the Highway Act of 1835 and spread across the British Empire.

Because of worries about infrastructure cracking, the bridge was closed to all traffic in 2020 and to motor traffic in 2019.

To reduce collisions, England imposed a law requiring drivers to stay to the left when traffic flows under London Bridge!

4. Reduce Collisions

It is believed that this practice began out of necessity because several British could not see over the steering wheel while driving.

Furthermore, it has been identified that driving on the left allows English people more visibility when parking their cars.

For that reason, driving on the left is thought to provide British drivers more control of their cars because it reduces collisions with other vehicles.

As you can see, the United Kingdom has practiced this since World War II, and it is still used today!

5. Deliver Safer Driving

Deliver Safer Driving

To ensure safer driving, the British must accurately judge their distance from other cars. It is where the left-side drive comes in.

When driving on the left, London citizens will have a better view of traffic from their left side. This means they can see if any vehicles are approaching them from behind, which helps them take evasive action if necessary.

Moreover, having the extra space on their left side allows drivers to move around more easily when changing lanes or merging into traffic.

Consequently, it makes it easier for English people to remain safe while moving at high speeds on busy roads!

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6. Easier For The Driver To Get Out Of The Car

In order to get out of the car more accessible, the steering wheel was initially placed closer to the edge of the road.

As an effect, England started to track the expansion of left-hand traffic worldwide.

As well as that, when you drive in England, you don’t have to worry about whether or not your car will be able to get out of the driveway.

To be honest, in England, driving on the left is easier for the driver to get out of their car. It’s also safer for them!

7. Practical For Navigating Lanes

Giving cars and other vehicles enough room to maneuver through traffic is another major reason drivers in England prefer to drive on the left.

For English people, driving on the left is promoted so there will be less traffic congestion and less chance of individuals colliding.

Additionally, it makes it easier for them to see where they’re going around corners and over obstacles.

Overall, driving with the left hand is practical for navigating roadway lanes!

8. London Highway Code

In the United Kingdom, there is a set of guidelines, laws, and information for drivers called the Highway Code.

Besides that, its goal is to advance traffic safety. All road users, including motorcyclists, drivers, horseback riders, and pedestrians, are subject to the Highway Code.

Moreover, according to regulation 237 of the UK’s rulings, you must slow down or halt “if necessary” if intense sunshine is making you dizzy.

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By that very fact, before you drive in London, make sure you are entirely familiar with the traffic laws. Significant examples would be vehicles that are left-hand driven!

9. Vehicle Production

In 1892, the first car was produced in England. It was a two-seater with an oval steering wheel. The steering wheel was positioned to the left and remained the same.

Because of this, when Charles Rolls (one of the founders of Rolls-Royce) started the production of cars in England, he wanted them to be as different from their American counterparts as possible.

In doing so, he wanted these vehicles to have a particular style that would distinguish them from every other car globally.

As a direct result, Rolls’ innovation was so successful that it changed how all vehicles were made, and most of its production was left-handed!

To know more, you can also read our posts on why Japan drives on the left, why America drives on the right, and why your truck pulls to the right


Beyond one’s control, English people have always been proud of their history and culture, and they believe that driving on the left makes them appear more civilized than other countries.

As presented, it all came from influences of the Roman era and British colonial Identity.

Ultimately, what they brought with them wasn’t just a matter of convenience, it was a matter of safety!

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