Driving on the left hand side of the road
Countries where vehicles drive on the left-hand side of the road
If you are planning to travel and perhaps rent a motorhome or car it’s a good idea to check in advance about which side of the road vehicles drive on. There are more than 50 around the world that drive on the left, and in some countries it’s very common, and perhaps scary, when a mix of left drive (driving on the right) and right drive (driving on the left) vehicles share the road. About a 35% of the world population drives on the left, most countries which were British colonies still drive on the left hand side of the road including huge land masses such as India, Australia and Southern Africa as well as the Caribbean.
Keeping left – In countries where vehicles drive on the left-hand side of the road. It is essential to keep left, because if you don’t you are likely to cause a head-on crash. This is one of the worst types of crash, as it almost always results in death or serious injury.
Keeping left on a laned road
Most roads have lanes marked on them with a white line and/or raised studs.
When driving on a laned road, it is important to drive your vehicle within your lane.
Where there are two or more lanes on your side of the centre line:
- keep in the left-hand lane as much as you can
- don’t use the lane closest to the centre line if you will hold up other vehicles.
The lane closest to the centre line should only be used when:
- you want to pass another vehicle
- you want to turn right
- the left-hand lane is full with other traffic or is blocked.
Keeping left on a curve
Keep well to the left when you are driving around a curve (a bend in the road), whether you are on a laned or unlaned road.
This is particularly important because you can’t always see what’s around the corner. As well as other vehicles coming the other way, there could be cyclists, horses, pedestrians or an object on your side of the road.
Drive on the Left in Australia and its territories (including Christmas Island, Cocos Islands, and Norfolk Island) all drive on the left. New Zealand and its territories (The Cook Islands and Tokelau) are also included in the list of left-handed drivers. 15 Asian nations drive on the left. These countries include Hong Kong, India, Brunei, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. 13 African countries have left-sided traffic including the former British colonies of Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Namibia, Swaziland, Uganda, and Tanzania.
Learn how to drive on the left- Driving in the UK
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