Högertrafikomläggningen happened on September 3rd 1967. On that day Sweden changed from driving on the left side of the road to the right (normalizing with all of its neighbors).

I would guess that before that day many cars in Sweden had their steering wheels on the right side of the car. So what happened to all those cars after the switch? On one side it would be prohibitively expensive to have everyone's car retrofitted with the new direction, but on the other side its more difficult and dangerous to drive on the right hand side of the road with a right hand side steering wheel.

Bonus points: What about buses? They presumably had exits on one side. How did they continue to operate after the switch?

  • 2
    Many left-hand-drive vehicles (especially trucks, but cars, too) are on the roads in the UK every day - and many right-hand-drive vehicles are on the roads in mainland Europe. The difficulty/danger is less from the arrangement of the car, but rather the instincts of the driver who is more familiar with road rules biased to one or the other. Luckily - you cannot just drive across the channel (yet) - so there is plenty of transition and signs as you leave the EuroTunnel or ferry terminals. I've even seen signs at airport car rental pickup locations.
    – user13123
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 22:09
  • Are you sure about Switzerland? Högertrafikomläggningen is anbout Sweden. Up to now I found no article about any left hand traffic in Switzerland.
    – knut
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 22:11
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    In the US Virgin Islands (for one, likely others) they drive on the left (British style) but everyone has cars with steering wheels on the left (standard American style). Life goes on.
    – AllInOne
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 22:13
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    So - for private vehicles - they would have just let them transition (although, the wikipedia article you link does note that their headlamps would have to be realigned to avoid dazzling oncoming drivers) - public transport, like buses or trams, would be a bit more problematic, as you say. It seems that tram systems were just discontinued, for the most part.
    – user13123
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 22:13
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    Also - the accident statistics before and after Dagen H don't show any improvement from before the transition (when 90% of the cars were LHD already and they were LHT) and after (okay, a small short-term drop attributed to drivers being more cautious immediately after transition) - showing there really isn't any problem with LHD on LHT roads (and vice versa)
    – user13123
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 22:22

1 Answer 1


Most cars actually had left-side steering even before the switch.

Most imported cars were from countries with left-side steering. Cars made in Sweden kept this, as people were used to it, and it easier to export the cars.

Here is a picture from the day of the switch, with people driving into Stockholm to try driving on the other side. Of the four cars you can see clearly, all are left-hand steered.

Cars going into Stockholm

The entire park of buses, however, had to be renewed, which was partially financed by a special vehicle tax (it also paid for all other practical work to be done during the switch).


The information can be found here, a page from the association of Swedish bus companies.

I found the picture here. There are also other pictures from the switch, for those interested.

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