Date: Sun, 14 Jan 1996 19:23:22 -0700
From: William King WFKING[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CCIT.ARIZONA.EDU
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?