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Left handers have more accidents

People who are born left handed often seem to have a hard time at school. Maybe it’s the smudges on their exercise books from writing with a “crab” hand. Now one UK insurer has found left handers are more likely to cause accidents on the road. They also get 50% more speeding fines and, paradoxically, pass their drivers tests first time.

Left handers (or lefties or south paws) are in good company. Some famous ones are Einstein, Michelangelo, Julius Caesar, Jimi Hendrix, Angelina Jolie, Martina Navratilova and even Tony Abbott. But what is their driving like?

Leftie research

Researchers commissioned by Privilege Insurance (UK) found, compared to right handed motorists:

  • Lefties get more speeding fines, more parking fines, and are more likely to have major accidents
  • 28% said they had received a speeding fine (19% of righties)
  • 26% had received a parking fine (23% of righties)
  • They are more likely to pass their drivers test first time.

The insurer concluded that right handed people were better drivers. Perhaps what they meant was right handers are more lawful drivers.

Rightie bias

Since only 10% of people are south paws, the world is biased towards the 90% of people who are right handed. This means vehicles, signs, lanes, roundabouts are all designed with an unconscious right hand bias. Even the words themselves are loaded with meaning:

  • The latin word for left, sinistra is the root of sinister
  • Dexterity comes from the latin word for right handed, dexter
  • Adroit comes from the French words a droit meaning to the right.

For a left hander, the good things appear to be on the left and the bad things are on the right. Does this mean a left hander sitting in the drivers seat of an Australian car feels as if they’re on the wrong side?

Left handed people enjoy a bonus in sport, because they can take advantage of players who are right handed. But as long ago as 1991, a University of British Colombia study found lefties were doomed to die earlier, and partly because of car accidents.

Luckily for you, if you are a leftie, insurers do not discriminate for which hand you use. So find your cheapest green slip here.