When the left hand . . .
Your correspondent Mr. Bigg queries why the mad Englishman drives on the left whilst most of the rest of the world chooses to drive on the right. He also queries which system has the more acceptable origin. Surely, driving on the left has its origins in the fact that two horsemen, or pedestrians for that Matter, would normally approach each other so that they could, it friendly, shake hands without getting knotted up. Even more Important, it they were not friendly, it would be the only way in
which a couple oh normally righthanded could indulge in a little sword-play. It would be very difficult to make a neat job ot sticking your sword through an opponent's stomach if he was to the left ol you.
What I think is equally interesting is why the continentals still built only right-hand steering cars when they insisted on driving on the right. Prior to the twenties hardly any continental cars at all were felt-hand steering and I believe that Bugatu never did build a left-hand steering car, nor did Lancia until after the second war.
Having the steering wheel on the same side as you drive has every advantage except for the insurmountable snag of not being able to see when overtaking until you are well out into the road. The driver steps out Straight onto the pavement, the average driver might manage to park within three or tour feet of the kerb without trouble, and the driver would suffer less injury, albeit at the expense of the passenger, in the event of a head on crash.
A rather coarse friend of mine suggested that the Continentals persevered with right-hand steering as it allowed the driver. to spit into the gutter. I cannot vouch for this but u may be significant that the changeover to left-hand steering coincided with the increased popularity of the closed car.
Meysey Hampton E. D. WOOLLEY