In 2009, the country of Samoa prohibited the sale of alcohol for three days to keep people safe while the island nation switched from driving on the right side of the road to driving on the left. The switch was so Samoans could get cheap, hand-me-down cars from nearby left-side driving New Zealand and Australia. But Samoans weren't too pleased since most of the cars they owned were designed to drive on the right. In fact, two out of three earthlings drive on the right. But why?
There aren't clear and obvious reasons to choose one side over the other, so the origin of driving conventions is a perfect opportunity for the mathematics of game theory and symmetry breaking. Or we can just look at historical evidence.
Today's rules evolved from "driving" livestock and carts on the earliest roads. Archaeologists view deeper grooves on the left lane leaving an ancient Roman quarry in England as evidence for left-side traffic since departing wagons would've had heavier loads. And it's possible that this left-side convention was in place so right-handed soldiers and knights could draw their weapons more quickly against passing enemies. Whatever the reason, keeping to the left was eventually made into law in England in 1835. And today, most people who drive on the left side live in countries like India, South Africa, and Australia, which were once British colonies. But that doesn't explain why the rest of the world drives on the right.
今日的規則源自於在最早期的路上「駕駛」牲畜與二輪車。考古學家認為從英國古老羅馬採石場離開的左邊道路比較深的車轍，是左側交通的證據，因為離開採石場的馬車會載有更重的石材。而且也有可能這左駕慣例的建立，是為了讓右撇子軍人與騎士比迎面而來的敵人更快地拔出武器。不論原因是什麼，以左為尊在英國最終在 1835 年制定成法律。而如今，大多數左駕的人都住在一些像是印度、南非，以及澳洲的國家，也就是那些曾經是英國殖民地的國家。但那並沒有解釋到為什麼世界上其他地方靠右駕駛。
Some claim that following the French Revolution, drivers there switched to the right to reject the practices of their overthrown aristocracy, while others suggest the French drove on the right all along. Regardless, driving on the right side of the road did spread across much of Europe when Napoleon (and later Hitler) imposed their national driving rules on conquered territory. Other countries voluntarily switched to the right to align with their neighbors, like Sweden in 1967, or to veer away from their colonial pasts, like Nigeria and Ghana in the 1970s.
有些人主張在法國大革命之後，那裡的駕駛人改靠右駕駛來抵制他們推翻的貴族的習慣，而其他人則認為法國人一直以來都右駕。無論如何，靠右駕駛的確傳播到歐洲許多地方，當拿破崙(以及後來的希特勒)將他們國家的駕駛規則強加於被征服的領土時。其他國家則自願改成右駕來與他們的鄰國一致，像是 1967 年的瑞典，或是來扭轉他們的殖民歷史，像是 1970 年代的奈及利亞與迦納。
And in the U.S.? Well, America owes its right-sided habit, in part, to the carts and postilion wagons of its early days. Driving either from the ground or from horseback, right-handed men preferred to walk or ride on the left side of the horses so they could control the animals with their right hand. As a result, they drove their wagons to the right so they could be closer to the center of the road to see and steer clear of oncoming traffic. And that's ultimately the point of driving laws: to keep us safe from the high-speed, two-ton metal projectiles we call cars.
- 「事實上」- In Fact
In fact, two out of three earthlings drive on the right. But why?
- 「始終、一直」- All Along
Some claim that following the French Revolution, drivers there switched to the right to reject the practices of their overthrown aristocracy, while others suggest the French drove on the right all along.
- 「一部分、某種程度上」- In Part
Well, America owes its right-sided habit, in part, to the carts and postilion wagons of its early days.
- 「因此」- As A Result
As a result, they drove their wagons to the right so they could be closer to the center of the road to see and steer clear of oncoming traffic.