Date: Sun, 14 Jan 1996 19:23:22 -0700


Subject: Re: Driving

In --Made in America,-- Bill Bryson writes that "an unusual feature of

Conestoga wagons was that they were built with their brakess and

"lazy boards" -- a kind of extendable running board -- on the left-hand

side. If there was a reason for putting them there, it has since been

forgotten. With drivers effectively compelled to sit on the left, they

tended to drive on the right so that they had an unimpeded view of the

road, which is why, it appears, Americans abandoned the long-standing

British custom of driving on the left [pp158-59]."

Was this unusual? If the brake lever were on the left, it would

leave the right hand free. Was it customary to drive on any side of the

road back at a time when most roads were single lane, or was there

some common courtesy regarding passing on such roads that evolved.

Are there any phrases that might give a clue?

Bill King