Traveller Tips on Right-Hand Driving: The Smart Traveller


There are but a few places in the world with left-hand traffic or LHT. Simply put, the steering wheel would be on the right side of the front seat of a vehicle. And as 72% of the world’s roads carry traffic on the right, some coil right-hand driving as driving on the “wrong side of the road”. More often than not, RHT countries use cars that are LHD or left-hand driven where the driver’s seat is on the left-hand side of the car. Conversely, LHT countries quintessentially utilize vehicles that are RHD or right-hand drive.

Understanding guidelines in driving in LHT countries is essential for mobility stressing on countries where public transport is nil to impossible. Also, this information will be crucial for the pedestrian-slash-commuter who can save on a lot of viable humiliation and casualty by checking this page. With a bit of luck, this short number will encourage the readers and students in particular to conduct further research on the countries intended for visit. Road orientation is bizarre, etiquette is unusual, and all the while the car feels wrong while driven on the right. So if you’re a traveller or expat who has been accustomed to driving on the right side of the road, or simply some ignoramus looking for factoids, here are some sane LHT reminders and road advices.

1. The obvious, the driver’s seat is on the right.

2. Traffic is mainly kept left unless overtaking.

3. Approaching traffic is seen also from the right.

4. For the most part, the traffic signs are on the left side of the road facing the motorist.

5. An overtaking vehicle passes the other vehicle/s on the right, with some exemptions.

6. On a roundabout, the traffic direction is clockwise.

7. Freeway exits are on the left.

8. Public transport entrance and exit are on the left, save for some with additional doors.

9. The pedestrian, upon crossing a two-way road, must look for traffic from their right.

Renting a car is beneficial to mobility and comfort especially in hot countries, the Middle East, for instance, where gasoline is generally more expensive than water. Also, this is a more economic option when travelling in a crowd of 3 or so. Although the orientation and directions can perplex, there are quick and easy advices that can be taken on. Not so much to worry about besides switching orientations really. So, here are 4 no-brainer quick safeties the traveller can do to ease the new joy of right-hand driving.

1. Go for AT (automatic transmission). As if driving in an entirely different universe isn’t hard enough, lessen the challenge at hand by not worrying how to switch gears with your left hand, particularly when entirely inexperienced with driving on the right.

2. Know the car before you hit the road, like you were when you were learning to drive. Basically, this means feeling the car and familiarising yourself with the car’s controls and equipments, which are almost at the same place (just on the right), except for the handbrake and gear. A-B-C which stands for accelerator, brake, and clutch, is the same on the right.

3. Do a dry-run. When you haven’t got a chance to practice back home, then drive some rounds or the basic forwards and backwards at the rental company’s car park. The emptier the lot, the better and safer!

4. Once you hit the LHT roads, remember to always keep left. All the right-hand driving adjustments may confuse you so much as to divert you. It doesn’t take too long to get used to this with constant driving and practice. The main principle is to have the driver nearest to the center line. These road and transport choices go way back in history, mainly British and its flag-plunging history. There would have been more than 75 LHT-oriented countries, if not for most countries adapting to the road system of their colonizers, as Spain and France. Most parts of the world that has become a part of the British Empire remained to drive on LHT, as the former French colonies maintained RHT.

Studies show that countries driving on LHT have lower collision rate just because humans utilize far better the dominant eye, which is more commonly the right. Nevertheless, driving on the left-side of the road is just as safe as on the right. Those that say otherwise are merely theorizing. Among countries or in any place, traffic laws may differ insofar as traffic lanes, licenses, insurance policies and highway etiquette – adjustments are always necessary even in Right-Hand Traffic (RHT) countries. Research of the traffic laws at the country of destination is not just a smart decision, it is intuitive.

LHT countries include:

1. Anguilla

2. Antigua and Barbuda

3. Australia

4. Bahamas

5. Bangladesh

6. Barbados

7. Bermuda

8. Bhutan

9. Botswana

10. Brunei

11. Cayman Islands

12. Christmas Island (Australia)

13. Cook Islands

14. Cyprus

15. Dominica

16. East Timor

17. Falkland Islands

18. Fiji

19. Grenada

20. Guernsey (Channel Islands)

21. Guyana

22. Hong Kong

23. India

24. Indonesia

25. Ireland

26. Isle of Man

27. Jamaica

28. Japan

29. Jersey (Channel Islands)

30. Kenya

31. Kiribati

32. Cocos (Keeling) Islands (Australia)

33. Lesotho

34. Macau

35. Malawi

36. Malaysia

37. Maldives

38. Malta

39. Mauritius

40. Montserrat

41. Mozambique

42. Namibia

43. Nauru

44. Nepal

45. New Zealand

46. Niue

47. Norfolk Island (Australia)

48. Pakistan

49. Papua New Guinea

50. Pitcairn Islands (Britain)

51. Saint Helena

52. Saint Kitts and Nevis

53. Saint Lucia

54. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

55. Samoa

56. Seychelles

57. Singapore

58. Solomon Islands

59. South Africa

60. Sri Lanka

61. Suriname

62. Swaziland

63. Tanzania

64. Thailand

65. Tokelau (New Zealand)

66. Tonga

67. Trinidad and Tobago

68. Turks and Caicos Islands

69. Tuvalu

70. Uganda

71. United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland)

72. Virgin Islands (British)

73. Virgin Islands (US)

74. Zambia

75. Zimbabwe



Josh Boorman


Backpacking Addictz

Twitter: @backpackaddictz

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Joshua Boorman

Joshua Boorman

Founder & Editor in Chief at Backpacking Addictz
Come with me on a journey with me to various destinations throughout the world. We discuss all things Backpacking, Lifestyle Design & Online Business to help you achieve new found freedom and create a life of meaningful fulfillment.
Joshua Boorman
About The Author

Joshua Boorman

Come with me on a journey with me to various destinations throughout the world. We discuss all things Backpacking, Lifestyle Design & Online Business to help you achieve new found freedom and create a life of meaningful fulfillment.

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