Are left-handers better drivers?

Press release from The AA

AA Driving school reveals Left-Handers are best drivers in UK

Left-handers ten per cent more likely to pass their driving test first time

When it comes to driving, left-handers have a natural advantage according to the AA Driving School. A study commissioned by the school indicates that being left-handed makes for a smoother driving test. According to the findings, almost six out of ten (57%) left-handers passed their driving test first time, making them 10 per cent more likely than right-handers to pass at the first attempt.

The news comes as millions of left-handers around the world will be celebrating ‘Left-Handers Day 2008′ on Wednesday 13th August.
The study also reveals that only five per cent of left-handed drivers believe being left-handed made learning to drive more difficult than if they were right-handed, although a quarter (27%) believe that cars are designed with right-handers in mind.

It should come as no surprise that left-handers appear to be the more accomplished drivers – some of the best drivers in history have been left-handed, including:

  • Ayrton Senna (deceased Formula 1 driver and three times world champion – considered to be one of the best ever)
  • Valentino Rossi (Seven times MotoGP champion – considered¬† to be one of the best ever)
  • Buzz Aldrin (Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 11 – the first manned mission to the Moon)
  • Chewbacca the Wookie (co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon – Star Wars)

Simon Douglas, director of the AA Driving School, comments: “Scientists have hypothesized for years that left-handers are quicker to learn than right-handers and, looking back through history, some of the most important drivers in the world have been left-handed.

“We wanted to see if we could find some evidence to support the theory. Some of our instructors point out that left-handers tend to be left-footers too and, as one of the hardest things to learn is changing gear and clutch control, they tend to pick this skill up more quickly.¬† So we’ve taken a deeper look into the phenomenon of left handed drivers.”

Douglas adds: “Although fewer students are left-handed, some of our instructors have commented that it’s the left-handers that seem to pick up skills like clutch control much more quickly than the right-handers.
“Changing gears with the left hand can also sometimes be a challenge for right-handers but it’s an easy thing to overcome and, with a good instructor, anyone can learn to drive.”
Survey based on YouGov poll of 2000 people between 6th and 8th August 2008.

3 comments on “Are left-handers better drivers?
  1. Ken G Grant says:

    I can recall being at early school and going home crying. The teacher was making me write right handed and it wasn’t working. When I told mum this I have never seen her move so fast. She was into school and tearing a strip off the teacher with if a person is left handed then they do things left handed.
    As for the driving, I passed my car test on the first attempt and I passed my heavy good vehicle driving test first time. Thank you

  2. Craig Philip says:

    I have driven over one million miles in my life ,I was a outside sales representative . I haven’t had a ticket or a fender-bender since my college days. My wife and daughter think I drive horrible .
    That record can’t be good fortune . Perhaps I perceive and react to traffic differently than the “rightys”.
    Any surveys on left driving skills ?

  3. Larry Ray says:

    You folks in the UK are fortunate (for left handers) in that your driving controls in your cars & trucks are on the RIGHT side of the cab. Here in the U.S., it is the opposite. I had to learn gear shifting and clutch control on the other side of the car from yours. This arrangement suits right handers much better, but being the talented left hander that I am, I learned to do it much better than the common run of the mill right hander. I am also modest, of course. Lol

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