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View Full Version : You might want to postpone that Samoan vacation for a while.



Jim Bow
08-25-2009, 11:55 AM
Things could get nasty in a couple of weeks.
http://http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125086852452149513.html?mod=yhoofront (http://http//online.wsj.com/article/SB125086852452149513.html?mod=yhoofront)

Nanoose
08-25-2009, 11:58 AM
Link won't connect.
Please check/repost. Thx.

Iceboy
08-25-2009, 11:58 AM
dead link.....

willmarsh3
08-25-2009, 12:11 PM
Maybe it's the article about switching from driving on the right to driving on the left. Very interesting. :D :D

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125086852452149513.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

JimD
08-25-2009, 12:14 PM
Those Samoans are clever. They'll figure it out.

andrewe
08-25-2009, 01:27 PM
If it was the left/right switch, the Swedes managed it very well not to long ago. Cors' most of their cars were left drive already.
Switch all the junctions to work both ways. Train all the school kids as traffic wardens. No driving for one day while they changed the signs. Day one at max 30 Km with kids at all junctions directing. Day two at 40km, etc. Worked very well, or so the documentary told me:)
A

Michael Beckman
08-25-2009, 02:15 PM
When I was there they drove on whatever side seemed to suit them at the time..

MiddleAgesMan
08-25-2009, 02:42 PM
It is actually easier to adapt your driving habits than your walking habits. On the various occasions I've been in countries that drive on the "wrong" side I never had problems behind the wheel. But put me on a sidewalk trying to cross a street and I will look the wrong way every time...almost stepped out in front of a car coming down the "wrong" side of the road on many occasions.

andrewe
08-27-2009, 01:32 PM
Most of Africa drives on the left because of being ex colonies, but so does Japan?? Any ideas there?
I seem to remember that Greece only decided to drive on the right in the 50s. Before that, you drove on the "Best bit" roads being a bit rough. BTW, they share with the Portuguese the worst accident rate in the EU.
A

Michael s/v Sannyasin
08-27-2009, 01:41 PM
The reason was that if you are driving a chariot or horse and carriage you will have the whip in your right hand since most people are right handed and so driving on the left prevents pedestrians and horses and carriages coming the opposite way from accidentally being hit by the whip. It was Napoleon that changed it in Europe for some strange reason.

I can see your point, regarding pedestrians, but seems to me that it would put horses/carriages coming in the opposite direction closer to that whip hand if you are passing starboard to starboard.

I would think that accidentally whipping an approaching horse would have a much greater potential for disaster than accidentally whipping a pedestrian, so a port to port crossing sounds safer to me.

Bruce Hooke
08-27-2009, 01:59 PM
The reason was that if you are driving a chariot or horse and carriage you will have the whip in your right hand since most people are right handed and so driving on the left prevents pedestrians and horses and carriages coming the opposite way from accidentally being hit by the whip. It was Napoleon that changed it in Europe for some strange reason.

I could possibly explain Micheal's objection to this explanation by saying that since you would be aiming for the horse and thus holding the whip at a slight angle, it is someone on the opposite side of the horse from the whip who would be most at risk.

However, overall, the explanation of which side we drive on going back to which hand held the whip sounds suspect to me.

It seems to me that I have also heard an explanation that goes back to swords and chariots. Again, I am suspicious...

Bruce Hooke
08-27-2009, 02:02 PM
Here is the explanation from the original article:


Mr. Kincaid says American drivers of horse-drawn carriages tended to ride their horses, or walk alongside them, on the left-hand side of their vehicles so they could wield whips with their right hands. That made it necessary to lead carriages down the right side of the road so drivers could be nearer the center of the street.

This does not do anything to explain why the British drive on the left...