Sometimes change and new thinking is difficult. Can some of us remember when most cars were rear-wheel-drive, and the idea to change to front-wheel-drive was hard to grasp? Oh, the promised benefits were wonderful ... better traction in rain and snow, totally flat floors inside the cabin, and less parts, vibration, and costs to build. Not to mention the laughs when we saw somebody putting tire chains on a Honda Civic on the rear wheels.
So, here's a thought ... what if we moved our steering wheels to the right side of the dashboard and drove from there? After all, many vehicles are already being built in both left- and right-hand-drive versions.
Getting into and out of the vehicle on the sidewalk side would be easier and safer. There would be no more waiting for that city bus, ambulance, or minivan to pass, so you can jump out in the traffic lane when the coast is clear. As an added bonus, you might be better able to avoid curb rash on your wheels.
Crash tests favor it. Not only do most head-on collisions hit on the present driver's side, the elimination of the steering wheel and column in front of that area makes a safer area to be hit. And since so many vehicles here carry just one person, probably nobody will be sitting there anyway.
The postal delivery people already do it here in America. I asked all three mail carriers that stop at our house about this, and they all thought right-hand-drive on our roads was a great idea.
I did it in the Bahamas, only backwards. I drove on the left side of the highways, and the steering wheel was also on the left in the rented Suzuki. This took a little getting used to at first, especially a left-hand turn with a car sitting at the intersection, waiting to pull out. But after a couple of tries, this was easy enough to do.
There might be some negative aspects. Manual transmission shifting, which is a dying art anyway, would be hard to get used to. Cupholders may have to be redesigned. And for us righties, operating a cassette, 8-Track, or CD player might be more difficult. But I'm only making a suggestion here, something for us to think about.
So what do you think? Please just give this a thought, and see if you could live with this drastic change in our driving habits.
--That Car Guy (Chuck)
The dash image is from Members.Ozemail.com.au.