Do deaf people drive?

Do deaf people drive?

By Brenda Cartwright
Thursday, March 17, 2022

This article is written by Brenda Cartwright (BC). Brenda is a seasoned interpreter, a master teacher and a well known author. BC also contributes numerous blog articles for Signing Savvy. Look for them on the “Articles” tab on our website.

Deaf people have been driving since the first cars rolled off the assembly line.

During the 1920’s some states refused to license deaf drivers.

Ultimately, deaf drivers won the right to drive in all states. However, insurance companies still tried to charge deaf people more for insurance. They thought deaf people would not hear the sirens of fire trucks and ambulances coming. What do you do when you hear a siren? You pull over and so does everyone else. Deaf people see people pulling over and pull over too — not to mention seeing the flashing lights!

Driving is almost a completely visual activity. Many people multitask — turn on the AC, put on music, talk on their phone, talk with other people in the car — all at once. These tasks all affect auditory clues while driving. 

Without all those distractions, deaf people concentrate more and may actually be better drivers than hearing people.

View/Add Comments (0 comments)

About the Author

Brenda CartwrightBrenda Cartwright is a seasoned interpreter, a master teacher, well known presenter, and author of several best selling sign language and interpreting textbooks from the RID Press. For 35 years Brenda was the Chair of the Sign Language Interpreter Program at Lansing Community College in Lansing, Michigan.

More about BC  |  Articles by BC