As a young girl I remember the shocked expressions on my hearing friends faces when they finally realised my mum was going to drop them off home, by car… “Can your mum drive?!” would be their usual question “But she’s deaf… how can she drive?!” would be their usual response. They would sit in the back of the car looking very nervous indeed. One friend even wanted to strap all three seat belts on?!
So it is a very “Well done” to people like Muneeb Ahmed who is a deaf driver that overcame the doubters at a Derby taxi firm. Who is believed to be the UK’s first deaf taxi driver.
Lately some questions arose such as:
“Is it safe to let deaf people drive?”
Of course it is safe for deaf people to drive, if anything they would make better drivers due to the power of their observation skills because deaf people tend to use their other senses more so relatively is much more visibly aware of what is happening around them. Except they would not be distracted by screaming children, the radio, music players or mobile phones. Consequently their focus whilst driving is 100%. In fact, it has been proven that deaf or hearing impaired people are better drivers, with fewer accidents or mishaps.
“How would deaf people know if an emergency vehicle wanted to get by?”
Deaf people will use the traffic around them as a guide whether an emergency vehicle is nearby – cars start to move over also by using the sides and rear view mirrors for the flashing lights as those are easily seen.
“Is it Legal for deaf people to drive?”
Really?! What a stupid question to ask – If hearing people can play music which is blaring out of their sound systems how can they hear if emergency vehicles are approaching? There is no hearing requirement at all to be able to drive so it is not illegal. As long as everyone keeps their wits about them, use their vision and don’t try to lip-read passengers or sign to them which inevitably breaks one’s concentration. Regardless of the fact that deaf adults have better peripheral vision.
Some CODA (Child of Deaf Adult(s) have been known to respond to questions like these with “My parents have super eye powers!” 😉
~ SJ (Sara Jae)
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