KNOXVILLE (WATE) – August 13 marks National Left Handed Day.
With just 10 percent of the population being left-handed, it can be easy for everyone else to forget we’re living in a right-handed world. Aside from making it tough to cut a line with a pair of scissors designed for righties, being a southpaw can also have some advantages.
1. They’re better drivers
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.
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 (deceased Formula 1 driver and three times world champion – considered to be one of the best ever)
- Valentino Rossi (Nine times MotoGP motorbike champion – considered to be one of the best ever)
- Buzz Aldrin (Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 11 – the first manned mission to the Moon)
- Chewbacca the Wookie (co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon – Star Wars)
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, as one of the hardest things to learn is changing gear and clutch control, they tend to pick this skill up more quickly. So we’ve taken a deeper look into the phenomenon of left handed drivers.”
2. They can make more money
A study by the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research found that left-handed men with a college education earned 15 percent more money than their right handed colleagues. Sadly, the same effect was not found among women.
3. They’re better at math
A study found that left-handedness was a predictor of mathematical precociousness.
Researchers found that the rate of left-handedness among students talented in mathematics was much greater than among the general population. Students that were left-handed outperformed the rest of the sample when the tasks involved difficult problem-solving, such as associating a mathematical function to a given set of data.
4. They’re better at sports
If you are a leftie, you can gain an advantage by using a leftie serve in tennis, which can create problems for right-handed players.Lefties also make better baseball players.
Lefties also make better baseball players. Newsweek asked David Peters, who has used math and physics skills to confirm that lefties have a considerable advantage on the diamond, why lefties make better baseball players.
Peters said not only do lefties have an advantage when pitching, but a left-handed batter is closer to first base, so he’s got a couple steps advantage trying to beat out a grounder. Also, when he swings, his momentum is turning him toward first base.
He also said the biggest advantage to being a southpaw has to do with the angle of the ball. Three-quarters of pitchers are right-handed. A right-handed batter has to look over his left shoulder and the ball is coming at quite an angle. The offset of your eyes gives you depth perception. So when you’re looking over your shoulder, you have lost the distance between your two eyes quite a bit, so you have lost that 10th of a second to see the ball. That’s why batters switch hit.
5. You’re more likely to be a twin
Left-handedness is about twice as common in twins than in the general population. A 1996 Belgian study found that about 21 percent of twins, both fraternal and identical, are left-handed.
6. Lefties become president
With the exception of President George W Bush and President Donald Trump, the last six United States leaders have been left-handed.
President Barrack Obama, President Bill Clinton, President George H.W. Bush and President Ronald Reagan are all left handed.
Coincidence? Well, maybe.
Interestingly enough, Senator John McCain is also left-handed, so either way the 2004 election had gone, a lefty would have been commander-in-chief.