I just got back from a trip to the US Virgin Islands (highly recommended) where I was surprised to learn that people drive on the left hand side of the road, with the steering wheel also on the left. At first I thought this was random but then I started to think about it...
In the US if two cars are traveling on a undivided highway toward each other and one of the drivers veers slightly into oncoming traffic the two cars will have a head-on collision with the driver side taking the majority of the impact. The same type of accident is also likely to happen in England where people drive on the left and the steering wheel is on the right.
If however you drive on the same side as the steering wheel then the types of collisions and severity of accidents would likely be reduced. ( I haven't been able to find any studies on this). There are of course advantages to driving on the right such as a slightly wider viewing angle for certain turns but I wonder if this advantage would make up for the increased risk.
Driving a car with a steering wheel on the right is perfectly legal in the US as far as I can tell. If there was good evidence that it was safer I wonder if people would drive from the other side?