How Do Deaf People Drive

How Do Deaf People Drive?

Being Alert and Roaming Eyes

Deaf people focus on driving by using their eyes. They are cautious drivers totally aware of their outside surroundings, keeping their hands on the wheel at all times and do not sign to passengers in the car. Their eyes are constantly moving, taking in the areas in the front, back and sides of their car. They use their car mirrors to give them a clear panoramic view of other cars and pedestrians on either side or in the rear of them. They slow down when they see cars in front with blinking stop lights and stop when they see cars in front of them stopped. They drive with extreme caution and awareness.

Night Driving and Blinking Lights

Contrary to belief, night driving makes it even easier for the deaf to drive. Stop and street signs blink and light up at night. The side doors of police cars glow in the dark, so even if the deaf person doesn’t hear the police siren, he can see the police car approach. Blinking lights on road construction sites, emergency vehicles and railroad crossings alert them in advance to either immediately come to a stop or to proceed with caution then pull over and stop. The deaf driver follows drivers in front of him. Taking notice of a car or multiple cars that are either stopping or fully stopped at a green light cautions the deaf driver that an emergency vehicle with sirens blaring might be about to go through an intersection.

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The Downside

Since deaf drivers follow the lead of cars ahead of them, it would follow that they would stop driving when noticing cars ahead stopped at a green light. The problem the deaf would face and can easily occur is when there are no cars ahead of them and the light is green. They would normally continue to drive being the light is green but not be aware that there iss a problem ahead (like an emergency vehicle with sirens blaring about to run a red light) that should have made them stop.