AA Driving School Study

Left-handers are best drivers

13 August 2008

AA driving school - an instructor and a learner driver

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.

Well known left-handed drivers

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 – Three times Formula One world champion
  • Valentino Rossi – Seven times MotoGP champion
  • Buzz Aldrin – Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 11, the first manned mission to the Moon
  • Chewbacca – the Wookie co-pilot of Star Wars' Millennium Falcon

AA comment

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 that the hardest thing to learn is changing gear and clutch control. left handers/footers tend to pick this skill up more quickly too. 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 a YouGov poll of 2000 people between 6th and 8th August 2008.


13 August 2008