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Left or right side—which is safer?

A roadside debate on whether or not the left side or the right side is the safest way to drive
HCA Lawyers

A new infographic compiles traffic data from four different countries.

A new infographic recently published by lists the automobile accident statistics from four different countries: the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States and Germany. The infographic then compares these statistics in two subcategories with the United States and Germany on the right hand, since they drive on the right side of the road, and the United Kingdom and Australia on the left. Worldwide more countries drive on the right side; 166 countries use the right side when driving while 74 countries drive on the left side. The objective of the comparison is to determine if one side of the road is safer to drive upon than the other.

Many different factors are involved in road collisions such as terrain, weather conditions, road condition, vehicle speed and the condition of the driver; and these have to be taken into consideration to form any meaningful conclusions. Driving conditions are not exactly the same between these countries nor are the populations to distance of roadways or driving culture. The infographic covers most of these factors pictorially in its analysis as well as other variables such as accidents per vehicle, the number of vehicles, the number of traffic accidents, kilometers of highway, speed limit and average crash speed.

Clear patterns in the data show that the left side may be safer. In countries like the United States and Germany, where people drive on the right, there are a greater number of vehicle accidents and fatal crashes. When using 100 million miles driven as the constant and measuring fatalities involving motor vehicles, there are 85 fatalities per million people in Germany and 111 fatalities in the United States. This compares to 50 fatalities per million people in Australia and 38 in the United Kingdom under the same 100 million miles driven criterion.

So driving on the left side may actually be safer. The infographic displays much more data than that though, 31 separate statistics in all, including some interesting data on eye dominance and hand dexterity. It is an informative and comprehensive graphic that is laid out in an easy to read format for you to draw your own conclusions. One thing is certain though; it is safer to drive on the same side of the road as everyone else is.

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