Can Deaf People Drive? All You Need To Know

Many deaf people wonder if they can drive just like the hearing people in the street. Other drivers also wonder if deaf people can drive without being able to hear audible sounds because listening is a must to prevent accidents and save lives. You may also ask, can a deaf person drive a commercial vehicle, or can a deaf person drive a school bus?

If you are among those wondering, can deaf people drive? This article will detail everything you need about deaf people and driving. You’ll also learn whether they are allowed to drive only motorcycles, cars, or both.

is it illegal for a deaf person to drive

Read Also: Clearing the Misconception: Is It Illegal to Drive Barefoot?

Can Deaf People Drive?

While the answer to this question may depend on an individual or a regional policy, deaf people can drive. As for ability, being deaf doesn’t prevent you from driving. You don’t drive with your ears. I know you’re wondering how will a deaf person hear horns from other drivers or an ambulance or siren. We’ll get to that.

This takes us to deaf people and their safe driving techniques. In fact, some folks argue that deaf people drive more safely than other drivers. One of the vital points among persons who argue that deaf people can’t drive is, “how can you drive safely when you can’t hear?’ “How do deaf drivers hear sirens?” Are you still doubting technology? There are several ways deaf persons can drive safely.

Deaf drivers use a special deaf driving device that notifies them when emergency vehicle sirens are nearby. When other cars blow horns, this special device will detect it and notify the deaf driver to take necessary precautions.

Some of these devices have multiple indicators that detect and decipher these sounds, so the deaf driver will know if it is a siren or a horn from other cars.

Deaf drivers can also use panoramic mirrors to enhance their visual perception and know how close objects or other vehicles are to their cars. Driving is a fundamental right for everyone to maintain in various parts of the world.

Did I say it in various parts of the world? Yes, deaf drivers are still deprived of the right to drive in some parts of the world. If you live in Florida, you may wonder, Can a deaf person drive in Florida? Yes, deaf drivers are allowed to drive in the united states.

Here are what you need to know.

However, most organizations may deprive deaf people of the right to drive. Also, many vehicle rental companies have denied renting cars to deaf people. This has led to several legal issues with deaf people saying they have been deprived of equal treatment.

It’s very common for the general public to accuse deaf people of being at fault in a road accident. It’s also assumed that their driving ability is compromised because of their hearing impairment.

What are the Requirements for a Deaf Driver’s License?

Deaf people follow the standard driver’s license requirements like hearing people. However, aside from the standard driving requirements like taking a pre-licensing course, getting the learner’s permit, and learning how to drive, deaf drivers must report to the DMV about their hearing impairment.

Deaf persons must inform their local motor vehicle department about their hearing impairment before applying for a driving license. The local department of motor vehicles will work with this information and determine whether a full-view mirror (F) restriction or a hearing gear will be on their driver’s license.

Deaf people’s driving licenses will have numerical codes or International  Symbols of the Deaf. If your driving license has this code or symbol, the law requires you to use a hearing device, and the car should have a full-view mirror. Both the inside and outside full-view mirrors must meet the DMV criteria.

There are educational driving and safety programs for deaf people. You can enroll in one to improve your driving skills and make your deaf-person driver’s license process smooth. If you choose to run the process yourself, you can apply for the DMV that includes the International Symbol of Access for Hearing Loss on your license.

Can a Deaf person ride a motorcycle?

Absolutely yes. Deaf people can drive motorcycles like they are allowed to drive cars. However, they are required to use a hearing aid under their helmet while driving. In fact, there are deaf-people rider groups. These people meet up and ride just like normal hearing people do.

While you may say you haven’t ridden with or met any deaf rider (at least to the best of your knowledge), there are a lot of them out there. Surprisingly, a group of nearly 1,000 deaf riders meets up at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

The Popular Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is the biggest deaf riders event in the world. These riders gather to share their passion and have fun with a community that understands their love for riding, experience, culture, and language.

how can a deaf person drive


Q: Can you drive when you are deaf?

If you live in the states, nothing stops you from driving as far as you meet the DMV deaf people driving criteria. Driving is a right, and deaf people should be given this right. However, some countries do not permit deaf persons to drive.

Q: How do deaf people hear while driving?

How can a deaf person drive since they cannot hear a common question amongst many folks out there? Deaf people use a deaf-person driving device to hear sirens and horns while driving.

It’s important to note that a totally deaf person cannot hear. But these devices have indicators that notify the deaf driver when an emergency siren vehicle is approaching and when a nearby vehicle is blowing a horn.

Q: Is deafness a disability?

Hearing is a major life activity, and hearing impairment is considered a mental or physical disability. In fact, deafness is clearly defined as a disability under the ADA. Most entities and individuals agree with this. But the deaf communities have a different view that deafness is not a disability; it is a minor issue that they can’t hear.

Q: What are the 4 levels of deafness?

The level of deafness is described based on the terms of the decibel (dB) and hearing levels. As per the British Society of Audiology, the four levels of deafness are mild (21 – 40 dB), moderate (41 – 70 dB), severe (71 – 95 dB0, and profound (95 dB).

Q: How do deaf people call 911?

Deafblind or people with hard hearing problems may text 911 or call 911 with their preferred means of communication. This includes using a caption replay, video replay, real-time text, TTY, or voice. Kindly note that if you choose to text 911, the dispatchers will ask you if they can put you on call.

Q: What are the benefits of deafness?

While deafness is not something anyone will wish for himself, it comes with some benefits that the deaf person enjoys. Here are some of the benefits.

  • Deaf people have a better peripheral vision of everything around
  • Deaf people pay full attention to their work and will not be distracted by noise
  • Deaf people can not hear farts (anyway, they have their peak share of the smell)
  • In the countryside, deaf people are not bothered by animal sounds
  • They don’t bore themselves with hearing people’s discussion
  • Deaf people have better body language and detect reactions easily
  • Deaf people can easily communicate in sign language with the pets
  • Deaf people do not suffer from their spouse or roommate’s snoring at nights
  • External noise does not distract them when having intimacy
  • You can ignore those annoying advertisement phone calls.

Q: Who is the most famous deaf person?

There are famous deaf persons or hard-hearing people in the world. These people are scattered in several fields of life and have accomplished great things in life.

You must have heard of the great Thomas Edison, who invented the lightbulb. However, you probably did not know that he had hearing problems from childhood and was thought to have become completely deaf during his early teenage years. The cause of his deafness is unknown, though it is common in his family.

Other famous people deaf out there include Hellen Keller, Jane Lynch, William Adams, and Ludwig Van Beethoven, to name a few.

Q: How does hearing loss affect the brain?

Loss of hearing may increase the rate of atrophy in the brain. It also contributes to isolation. Deaf people are less seen hanging around with hearing people, especially when they’ll engage in conversation less than others.

Q: Do Deaf people have better driving records?

According to a study by Coppin and Peck in 1963, deaf people (including hard-hearing people) have poorer driving records than hearing people. However, NHTSA has claimed that more recent studies have failed to provide convincing evidence that hearing people have better driving records than deaf people.

Final Words

At this point, you’ll no longer ask, can deaf people drive? This article has explained all you need to know on this topic. Finally, this article has also dissolved the contemplation – is it illegal for a deaf person to drive? It is legal for a deaf person to drive in the States and many other countries. However, they have to inform the DMV of their hearing impairment when applying for a driver’s license and stick with the DMV criteria.

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Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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