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Right Hand Drive versus Left Hand Drive Vehicle

The word Right Hand Drive means to keep vehicle to the right side of the road. Though originally most traffic drove on the left side all over the world, but now about 66% of the world’s nations are right hand traffic countries and 34% are left-hand traffic countries. Universally each country specifies a uniform road traffic flow: left-hand traffic (LHT) in which traffic keeps to the left side of the road, or right-hand traffic (RHT) in which traffic keeps to the right.

Vehicles are manufactured in left-hand drive (LHD) and right-hand drive (RHD) configuration, referring to the placement of the driving seat and controls within the vehicle. There are some countries with RHT and mostly RHD vehicles. Japanese Car Manufacturers produce both RHD and LHD as they export their cars to almost all countries of the world. Japanese used car exporters arrange to convert RHD to LHD or vise-versa as per customer’s needs.

There is not much difference in left hand drive car and right hand drive cars. It is just the change in driver seat position, paddles set-ups and the gear set-up.

In left hand drive car the pedals set-up as gas & brake are to your right foot and the clutch is to your left foot. The gears are to your right. One uses right hand to change gears. The 1st is towards the upper left, second is down, third is up and to the right etc. For reverse one need to push the lever far away and then forward. In left-hand traffic, the predominantly better-performing right eye is used to monitor oncoming traffic and the driver’s wing mirror. Some right hand drivers find this a bit hard when they try to drive a Left hand drive car.

In Right hand drive car the pedals set-up as gas & brake are to your left foot and the clutch is to your right foot. The gears are to your left. One uses left hand to change gears. The 1st is towards the upper left, second is down, third is up and to the right, etc. For reverse one need to pull the lever closer and then backward. In right-hand traffic, oncoming traffic and the driver’s wing mirror are handled by the predominantly weaker left eye.

Some instructions for Right hand drive traffic :

  • All traffic is required to keep right unless overtaking.
  • Oncoming traffic is seen coming from the left. Left-turning traffic must cross

On coming traffic.

  • Most traffic signs facing drivers/motorists are on the right side of the road.
  • A right turn at a red light may be allowed after stopping.
  • Traffic on roundabouts goes anticlockwise.
  • Pedestrians crossing a two-way road look first for traffic from their left.
  • On roads without a footpath pedestrians may be advised to walk on the left.
  • The lane designated for normal driving and turning right is on the right.
  • Most dual carriageway (divided highway) exits are on the right.

Some instructions for Left hand drive traffic :

  • All traffic is generally required to keep left unless overtaking.
  • Oncoming traffic is seen coming from the right. Right-turning traffic must cross

oncoming traffic.

  • Most traffic signs facing motorists are on the left side of the road.
  • A left turn at a red light may be allowed after stopping. Traffic on roundabouts

goes clockwise.

  • Pedestrians crossing a two-way road look first for traffic from their right.
  • On roads without a footpath pedestrians may be advised to walk on the right
  • The lane designated for normal driving and turning left is on the left
  • Most dual carriageway (divided highway) exits are on the left

List of some RHD Countries :
Kenya, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Afghanistan, Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Mongolia, Peru, Saudi Arabia, United States, Vietnam, Switzerland, Burma, South Korea, France.

List of LHD Countries :
Australia, Barbados, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Bhutan, Nepal, Guyana, Suriname South Africa and Trinidad & Tobago.

Right Hand Drive in Japan :
Japan does allow both RHD and LHD vehicles on their roads. In some cases the same vehicle is available in both LHD and RHD configurations but most of vehicles are Right Hand Drives. Sometimes LHD cars are also available for foreigners.

Article Resource Box :
Tatsuya Kaga is Sales Coordinator of Japan used car export firm Ramadbk Ltd., Japan. If you are looking for import right hand drive or left hand drive quality used cars from Japan, please browse: http://www.ramadbk.com

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