Right- and left-hand traffic

Right-hand and left-hand traffic describe the general traffic situation on public roads.

In right-hand traffic (RHT), vehicles drive on the right side of the road and pass oncoming traffic on the right. Roundabouts are driven anticlockwise. The driver usually sits on the left-hand side of the vehicle (LHD).

Right-hand traffic applies in most countries around the world.

In left-hand traffic (LHD), vehicles drive on the left and pass oncoming vehicles on the left. Roundabouts are driven clockwise and the driver sits on the right-hand side of the vehicle (RHD).

Left-hand traffic applies mainly in Great Britain and former British colonies and dominions, as well as in Japan.

A distinction between RHT and LHT is especially important for headlights, as the asymmetric beam pattern of the low beam is different for right-hand and left-hand traffic. A “wrong” product would dazzle oncoming traffic and lead to an increased risk of an accident.

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