Can Deaf People Drive?

Some people are good at driving, and some make you fear for your life as they cruise around, oblivious to the rest of the world.  Driving is both a blessing and a curse…..You have the freedom to come and go as you please, getting to places with greater ease and independence, but you have to be alert at all times as not everyone quite follows the highway code to the T.  But have you ever considered how a deaf person utilises a car? Perhaps you are wondering what happens if an emergency vehicle approaches.

As mentioned above, driving is crucial to modern life, and the likelihood is; you, the reader, are already driving or will one day be on your way on the road. All walks of life need to go about their day:


– Youngsters at university
– People going to work
– Going out on a day off

Back to the question of Can Deaf People Drive?  Well, firstly, you don’t need to tell the DVLA if you’re deaf if you own a car/motorcycle licence; however, you do if you own a bus/coach/lorry licence.

Deaf people pay greater attention to visual cues, such as seeing other drivers moving over to the side of the road or noticing the flashing lights of an emergency vehicle.


In the majority of countries, deaf people drive, although, in some countries, they have to show a sticker indicating they’re deaf.

Deaf drivers in Japan must display this sticker on the back of their vehicles


What About Equipment For Deaf Drivers?


A Loop System


They allow for sound to be heard more clearly and work with hearing aids that have a ‘T’ setting or loop listener. The system helps to reduce background noise and can be fitted inside a car. The system can be set up with a microphone and convert the sounds it picks up into magnetic inductive signals, which, once these reach the hearing aid/loop system, are converted back into sound the user can hear.


Radio Aids

Radio aids are designed with the objective of making conversation between a speaker and a deaf person clear, one of the ways it does this is to help reduce background noise. The driver or passenger will speak into the radio aid transmitter, and this will allow the deaf person the ability to hear it in clearer detail. The radio aid transmitter also allows for the option of being plugged directly into the:

– Music Players
– DVD Players
– Smartphones/Tablets
The radio aids can also be hooked up to any portable speaker as not every deaf person wears hearing aids.
The radio aid would need body-worn radio aid receivers or a neck-loop receiver to connect to a speaker. The speakers then simply are plugged into the body-worn or neck-loop receiver, and the sound from the transmitter comes out of the speakers. As simple as that!

Some Food For Thought To End On, Deaf People Are Better Drivers…..

Research shows this to be fact! Deaf people are not distracted by:

– Screaming kids
– The radio/music player
– Or tempted to use their mobile phone at any point

Deaf people naturally have better peripheral vision, and their focus is purely on driving with little to nothing to distract them, making them much safer drivers than hearing people!