LHD vs RHD manual trans and handedness

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Circlotron
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LHD vs RHD manual trans and handedness

Post by Circlotron » Sun Dec 27, 2015 5:52 pm

I am different to most people here in that 1/ I am left handed and 2/ I drive a right hand drive car. When driving a manual trans vehicle (not often nowadays) I have to coordinate my left arm and left leg, both controlled by the right side of the brain. For you blokes (guys) that are right handed and drive a left hand drive car you have to coordinate right arm and left leg with opposite sides of the brain. I wonder if there is some kind of difference or advantage / disadvantage either way.

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Re: LHD vs RHD manual trans and handedness

Post by Brian P » Sun Dec 27, 2015 6:02 pm

I think it is all what you get accustomed to.

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Re: LHD vs RHD manual trans and handedness

Post by PackardV8 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 6:12 pm

I grew up driving Farmall tractors which were all right hand drive/left hand shift.
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Re: LHD vs RHD manual trans and handedness

Post by joe 90 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 6:54 pm

That's an interesting topic.
I've only driven an LHD car once, that was automatic.
We drive on the other side of the road and most cars have traditionally been manual........meaning that the gear lever is in your left hand.
To me that's 100% natural being left handed.
I'll have to ask right handed friends but like everything, it's what you get used to.
No harder than going through primary school and teachers forcing you to write with your right hand.

We have a problem here with european cars.
They're usually designed originally as LHD, they re design it by moving the steering column across but not flipping it over.
What happens is that the wipers and indicators end up swapped over.
With japanese cars , it's easy, you can change gear with the left, steer with the right but also use the indicators at the same time with the right.
When you see a european car with the wipers going on a corner on a dry day........You know the driver is confused.
Last edited by joe 90 on Sun Dec 27, 2015 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LHD vs RHD manual trans and handedness

Post by Kevin Johnson » Sun Dec 27, 2015 6:56 pm

Circlotron wrote:I am different to most people here in that 1/ I am left handed and 2/ I drive a right hand drive car. When driving a manual trans vehicle (not often nowadays) I have to coordinate my left arm and left leg, both controlled by the right side of the brain. For you blokes (guys) that are right handed and drive a left hand drive car you have to coordinate right arm and left leg with opposite sides of the brain. I wonder if there is some kind of difference or advantage / disadvantage either way.
Every time we wanted to head out to "collect" likely transection candidates to advance knowledge in this area the IRB would shut us down. :lol:

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Re: LHD vs RHD manual trans and handedness

Post by Kevin Johnson » Mon Dec 28, 2015 6:01 am

No-one likes my dark humor. :lol:

The assignment of simultaneous tasks to opposite limbs (let alone upper versus lower and cognition thrown in) is an area that has been extensively studied. An extremely important issue would be the reaction to novel information for which the individual had not been thoroughly trained. If you would like to study the area further try using split brain patients (transected corpus callosum) and cognitive interference as search terms. It is an important area to understand particularly for rehabilitating stroke victims.

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Re: LHD vs RHD manual trans and handedness

Post by Kenova » Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:04 am

If I had to drive a RHD car with a manual transmission I would be screwed.
My left hand is an idiot.

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Re: LHD vs RHD manual trans and handedness

Post by PackardV8 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 11:09 am

Kenova wrote:If I had to drive a RHD car with a manual transmission I would be screwed.
My left hand is an idiot. Ken
My dad was left-handed and said, "If my left hand were tied behind my back, I'd starve to death."

For whatever reason, probably sixty years mis-spend working under cars and trucks, I've trained myself to be somewhat ambidextrous. I try to use whichever hand is most convenient to the task. I also learned to shoot a rifle from either shoulder. Since a shotgun does not allow time for aiming, it proved too difficult to get good from either side.
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Re: LHD vs RHD manual trans and handedness

Post by Dan Timberlake » Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:31 pm

Throttle pedal in the center - with brake pedal to the right, clutch pedal to the left - was supposedly standard practice of the great Italian constructors pre WWII and for quite a while post WWII. Vintage Bentleys and Lancias, Maseratis, Ferraris almost all had the throttle in the middle.

Denis Jenkinson supposedly mentioned in The Racing Driver that Fangio and Moss did not have problems when they had to switch between race cars with the different pedal layouts.
But there are also reports that Moss very early in his career had an "incident" with a Ferrari with that pedal layout.

But some really great drivers like Caracciola had crashes believed to have originated with unusual pedal relationship.

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Re: LHD vs RHD manual trans and handedness

Post by Brian P » Tue Dec 29, 2015 1:00 pm

I drove an imported-from-Japan right-hand-drive car once. The pedals and gearshift actually weren't a problem, but what drove me bonkers was that the stalk controls were flipped left-to-right. Want turn signals? The wipers start going. Want wipers? Turn signals start flashing.

Apparently there are differences worldwide for how this is handled - two different conventions for stalk controls. Some of them have the orientation the same as conventional left-hand-drive cars just transferred to the right side (as was done with the pedals), others (evidently Japanese-market) have the stalks flipped.

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Re: LHD vs RHD manual trans and handedness

Post by autogear » Tue Dec 29, 2015 3:05 pm

Im left handed and was born with a mild form of cerebral palsy; I've had to drive cars with the accelerator moved to the left of the brake; and my left foot for years. Nerve damage has caused the right foot and knee to be fairly weak. I can certainly drive a conventional car, but stop n go traffic can leave me exhausted. So, the accelerator left of brake; with an automatic became necessary. I had to train for 6 months in order to create muscle memory. My instructor was NUTS. He'd sit in the passenger seat, with his right foot on the "teacher brake" (brake in the passenger side footwell for driving instructors); his left leg over the console, left foot on the gas, and left hand on the "Suicide knob" on the steering wheel :shock:

He also taught people how to drive that had become quadriplegics, with mouth sticks and other weird stuff. I had to move a van with hand controls and "zero effort steering" - move the wheel literally a fraction of an inch and it was the same as turning the wheel to full lock. Only after me completely freaking out, did my instructor laugh and tell me theres an OFF switch.

So; I guess with practice comes experience and ability. Being lefthanded I usually learn everything twice anyway.

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Re: LHD vs RHD manual trans and handedness

Post by Circlotron » Tue Dec 29, 2015 6:51 pm

Somewhat related, when driving along normally I use my right foot exclusively, but when for example looking for a break in the traffic at a T intersection where I might have to change my mind suddenly, I always both feet. Many times I have noticed myself applying the brake even before I have begun to lift the other foot of the accelerator. Opposite sides of the brain working independently I suppose.

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Re: LHD vs RHD manual trans and handedness

Post by peejay » Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:02 am

Circlotron wrote:I am different to most people here in that 1/ I am left handed and 2/ I drive a right hand drive car. When driving a manual trans vehicle (not often nowadays) I have to coordinate my left arm and left leg, both controlled by the right side of the brain. For you blokes (guys) that are right handed and drive a left hand drive car you have to coordinate right arm and left leg with opposite sides of the brain. I wonder if there is some kind of difference or advantage / disadvantage either way.
The other side of the argument is that the left leg just has to stomp a clutch. The right leg has to apply the brake and modulate it for best braking while also swiveling over and applying the throttle. Much more dexterity (ha! i made a pun) required for that.

Of course this is all archaic and the new way to do it is pull to shift one way and push to shift the other. Or left paddle is down and right paddle is up.

One thing that I could never grasp about RHD is why the shift pattern isn't mirrored. With LHD the shift is either straight forward/back or towards/away from you. With RHD the shift pattern is forward/back or at an odd sideways angle. I note with interest that Porsche made RHD race vehicles that were also right hand shift.

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Re: LHD vs RHD manual trans and handedness

Post by Splitter » Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:58 am

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Re: LHD vs RHD manual trans and handedness

Post by Circlotron » Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:47 am

peejay wrote:One thing that I could never grasp about RHD is why the shift pattern isn't mirrored. With LHD the shift is either straight forward/back or towards/away from you. With RHD the shift pattern is forward/back or at an odd sideways angle.
What do you mean "an odd sideways angle"? With a stick, the tranny is in the centre of the car so the shift pattern is the same in both cases. Do you mean some kind of column shift setup?

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