ss_blog_claim=bf53c2c2a6b5e4b759eb9b46babec032 Stephen the dog: why do American's drive on the right side

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

why do American's drive on the right side

As a dog I am always looking to help out people. As you may or may not know helping people is part of the dog code. I don’t really want to get into the dog code today so for now just assume it is a set of guidelines governing how we dogs interact with the world. At the very lowest level it is the only thing that prevents us dogs from eating the bottom 30% of the human race who seem to be just incredibly stupid.

Lately I have been pondering the question of why do Americans drive on the right hand side of the road. In England they drive on the left but over here we drive on the right. Why is that? Is it arbitrary or is there some kind of historical or logical reason.

As you probably realized roads have been around much longer than cars. Originally roads were travelled by horse drawn carriages. Since there are so few horses around you may not know this but horses stink. Yup they do sorry my friends Flicker, Mr. Ed, and Trigger all smelled pretty bad.

Why do we care at all that horse smell? Well as we all at some point come top realize, rich people make laws. In olden times you had smelly horses pulling rich people around. Well if you know anything about rich people then you know they don’t like smelly things. Rich people also tend to migrate like birds going south in the winter. Since the prevailing wind in the US in from the west if the carriage driver sits on the left hand side of the vehicle he is driving and the rich guy sits on the right hand side of the vehicle guess who gets all the smell. That is right the poor sap stuck driving the carriage. The rich jerk ends up upwind of the horse and thus gets little to no smell. You obviously want the driver toward the middle of the road so he gets a better view of his surroundings, thus we drive on the right in America. So there you have it.

Driving on the right has many benefits. In the 40’s when the automobile came out and the smell issue was no longer there some people suggested we start driving on the left. In fact there was a short period of time where we actually emulated England and drove on the left. This was short lived however since most people are right handed. Basically what happened was people were so pyched to have cars that they would high five each other as they passed in alternate directions. This was not a big issue until the 50’s when cars got faster and people started to lose arms to this behavior.

As hospitals started to see more and more patients with lost arms due to high fiving at high speed, the government was forced to step in. Realizing most people we right handed the Govt decided that if we forced the drivers right hand to be toward the middle of the car most attempted to high fives would be unsuccessful. Basically right handed people don’t have the control over their left hand to high five at closure rates of 47mph or greater. For this reason President Truman signed a highway bill 227.35 stating we would from this day forth have to drive on the right with our right hands protected in the middle of the car.

The idea must have worked because only a very small percentage of the population today is missing their right arms. The only downside is that when we go to the drive through right handed people are forced to handle the transaction with their left hands. I guess Truman did not anticipate everything. I will say would rather watch my A fumble with his left hand to get his change than to have him not have a right arm. He feeds me with his right hand so I would be pretty hungry if he had no right hand.

So there you have it we drive on the right because horse stink and no one wants to have only one arm.


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