I've noticed that cars/automobiles manufactured for countries with right-hand traffic (where vehicles drive on the right hand side of the road) place the driver's seat on the left hand side of the car from the driver's perspective, and cars/automobiles manufactured for countries with left-hand traffic (where vehicles drive on the left hand side of the road) place the driver's seat on the right hand side of the car from the driver's perspective.
Essentially, you sit in one side of the car, and drive on the other side of the road.
This seems like it's a less safe configuration than having people sit in the same side of the car as the side of the road they drive on, given the increased likelihood that a head-on collision will strike the drivers' compartments. (Which would always be occupied, as opposed to passenger compartments which may or may not be empty.) This probably isn't a particularly big deal with modern automobile safety features, but even as recently as the 90's, before features like airbags and effective crumple zones were standard on everything, this seems to me like it would have been a big deal, and I can think of no benefit gained from this less safe configuration.
Is there a benefit that I'm missing that comes from configuring automobiles with the driver's compartment on the opposite side of the vehicle, relative to the flow of traffic? Why are our cars configured this way?