General Question

ava's avatar

Why do postal service trucks in the US have a steering wheel on the right side?

Asked by ava (982points) July 2nd, 2007

I've always wondered this, but never found out the answer.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

15 Answers

ben's avatar

I always just assumed it was to make it easier for them to get out on the right side, so they can deliver mail without walking through traffic.

ava's avatar

Why doesn't eveything run on thr right side?

ava's avatar

It seems to make more sense.

sdeutsch's avatar

I always thought it was left over from the "olden days" when everyone had a mailbox out by the street - that way the mailman could reach out the window to put the mail in the mailbox, without having to get out of his seat. Don't know if that's the real reason, but it seems to make sense...

ben's avatar

As for why everyone doesn't do it, I'm guessing in general it's easier to see if you're closer to the center of the road.

Perchik's avatar

Yeah, my neighborhood still has mailboxes and the mailmen have steering wheels on the right side, so they can just pull over next to a mailbox, instead of either a.) driving on the wrong side or b.) getting out to put the mail in

bpeoples's avatar

You basically want the driver near the middle of the street, so when crossing head-on, it's easier to see where that part of the car is-- so cars in the UK have their driver-side on the right.

archer's avatar

sdeutsch and perchik are exactly right, except for the "olden days" part; not a matter of "olden" vs "current", it's more rural vs urban.

maggiesmom1's avatar

Yeah - we have our mailboxes at the road, so it's that the mailperson can pull right up to the box to put the mail in. Otherwise they either be driving on the wrong side of the road or having to get out of the vehicle.

syntak's avatar

because the curb is on the right side. duh.

bpeoples's avatar

@syntak—it’s a little less obvious if you live in an urban area where the mailboxes are on the houses themselves. If you live there, the mailman drives from the post office to your block, walks around delivering the mail, and then gets in their truck with the steering wheel on the wrong side and goes to the next block.

ManxPets's avatar

Obviously, we have all youngsters here. Ask the question to your parents. The right side steering was first used for rural delivery. BTW. I never saw a mailman get out of his truck for rural delivery unless the mail fell to the ground. Just reach across out the right window.

Mrs_Dr_Frank_N_Furter's avatar

my friends name is ava!

millerralf's avatar

Statistically safer and faster, so maybe its more efficient.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Because the USPS is a profoundly conservative organization and therefore all decisions tend to be made for the benefit of the “right”.

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