Different countries have different rules for managing their traffic. While the majority of the countries in the world follow right-hand traffic (RHT) rule, some countries still follow left-hand traffic (LHT) rule, in which traffic keeps to the left of the road. Ghana implements RHT rule for its traffic.
Right-Hand Traffic (RHT) is the practice of keeping to the right side of the road in bidirectional traffic. In the same way, Left-Hand Traffic (LHT) refers to the practice of keeping to the left side of the road in bidirectional traffic. An elementary rule of the road, it is worthwhile knowing which side of the road to drive before attempting to drive in other countries.
About 70% of the countries and territories in the world implement RHT and use left-hand drive (LHD) vehicles. The steering wheels of these cars are located on the left-hand side, and therefore the driver sits on the left side of the car and uses the right hand to change gears. People go around roundabouts in counterclockwise direction in such countries. Overtaking is usually done from the left, and it is not permitted to stop on the left-hand side of the road facing oncoming traffic. Most traffic signs facing motorists are on the right side of the road in these countries.
While RHT is more popular in the world and is used in 165 countries and territories, the remaining 75 countries and territories follow LHT. Countries that use LHT account for about a sixth of the world's area with about a third of its population and a quarter of its roads. In 1919, 104 of the world's territories were LHT and an equal number were RHT. From 1919 to 1986, 34 of the LHT territories switched to RHT.
In the past, all traffic used to follow the Left-hand traffic rule. Most people, being right-handed, found it easier to mount their horses from the left. It made sense to climb from the side of the road rather than from the middle, hence they chose the left-hand rule. At the same time, the right hand would be free for greetings or for defense (by holding a sword).
However, when Napoleon came to power, he began changing the left-hand rule to right-hand to suit his own requirements. He being left-handed, preferred to stay on the right side of the road with his sword braced in his left-hand, ready for attack or defense. So he introduced the right-hand system in countries or territories he conquered.
Napoleon’s conquests spread the new right-hand traffic rule to Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, Poland and many parts of Spain and Italy. The states that resisted Napoleon like Britain, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Portugal, kept left.
The French Revolution also contributed to popularizing the right-hand rule. The farmers in France were earlier forced to travel on the right side of the road while the aristocrat travelled on the left side. Post the revolution, travelling on the right side became a symbol of freedom that quickly spread to other European countries.
The French introduced RHT to its colonies in Africa, while the British and Portuguese colonies followed LHT. Today, about 41 countries and territories in Africa follow right-hand traffic (RHT), while only 14 African countries and territories practice left-hand traffic (LHT).
Britain introduced LHT to British West Africa. Since all of the countries, formerly a part of this colony, share their borders with former French RHT jurisdictions, they switched to RHT post decolonization. These countries include Ghana, Gambia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria. Other British colonies and protectorates like Cape Colony (now Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa), Rhodesia, and the East Africa Protectorate (now Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda) still follow LHT.
Ghana is one of the fastest growing economies of the world. The demand for imported vehicles is steadily growing as well. You can find a wide selection of affordable LHD vehicles to suit your requirements on CarGhana.com. CarGhana offers not just vehicles, but also insurance, loans and spare parts for your vehicles at pocket-friendly prices. It also helps you import vehicles of your choice from Dubai and other Middle East countries, saving you the hassles of liaisoning, documentation, transferring of ownership, shipping, etc. So, the next time you think of cars, bikes, or trucks, do visit CarGhana.com for a whole lot of interesting deals!
Below is a list of countries for both RHT and LHT in Africa.
Countries following RHT in Africa:
4 Burkina Faso
7 Cape Verde
8 Central African Republic
11 Côte D'Ivoire
12 Democratic Republic Of Congo
15 Equatorial Guinea
31 Republic Of Congo
34 Sierra Leone
36 South Sudan
38 São Tomé And Príncipe
41 Western Sahara
Countries following LHT in Africa:
2 Eswatini (Swaziland)
10 South Africa