Why the first Soviet cars were RHD

Another 31/12/19 Why the first Soviet cars were RHD

it Seems that RHD cars appeared on the roads of Russia relatively recently — when it became affordable cars from Japan, distilled from the Far East or in transit from Europe. But, it turns out, since the early 60-ies in the USSR of the cars right-hand drive, produced for export, were used for domestic needs. But if you dig deeper?

the Ban Yezhov

the First cars appeared in Europe and then in the Russian Empire, was located to the right of the steering wheel. It was considered that it is more convenient and safer, because the driver of the vehicle left him on the roadway and on the sidewalk. Also, being on the right, the driver can see and react to pedestrians. The speed before was small, and because the collision with the oncoming vehicle were almost no victims. But the pedestrian who decided to cross the road, could be seriously affected.
All cars produced in the USSR in the 20’s and early 30’s, was RHD. But in 1932 their production was discontinued. The leadership of the Union decided that it is time to stop copying the West, especially that right-hand movement in the Soviet Union made more convenient (though less safe for the driver) the left position of the steering wheel. Until 1937, right-hand drive cars operated in the country along with the new LHD, and then was banned by decree of the then people’s Commissar of internal Affairs.

Export samples

In the early 60-ies, when the transport industry is actively growing and developing the new models of cars, it was decided to produce them for export. But classic left hand drive cars are not in demand abroad. Because all the export models were altered a right-hand drive and had a corresponding index in the name “P”.
it Turned out that inside the country such modifications in some cases veryobny. For example, for the needs of postmen. On RHD cars you can drive right up to the sidewalk, where it is usually located receiving mailbox and remove the mail without even leaving the cabin. Not less important was the fact that the loaded mail driver left it on the sidewalk, not the roadway.
it is Worth mentioning one more point. As right-hand drive models were produced for export, their Assembly was used more quality components and technology. The reliability of these vehicles is practically not inferior to European counterparts. And not just because the representatives of the postal service wanted for export “Lada” or “Volga”. Indeed, many of those machines running now.

Yaroslav Gorbunov

© Russian Seven

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