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#368709 - 01/23/08 03:26 AM Can a deaf person drive? Tell me your experiences
Felicity - Deafness Editor Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Shark

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 287
Loc: Australia
I'd like to hear your experiences about driving deaf. I'll add a couple of my own to get the ball rolling.

A few years ago I was driving with a car full of rowdy teenagers; laughing, joking, talking all together and so on (although I couldn�t hear them!) My son tapped me on the shoulder. I was driving a very busy road in Sydney in peak hour traffic trying to concentrate so I told him to stop. But he kept tapping. After a few times I looked in the rear vision mirror to tell him off and saw the flashing lights of an ambulance. I had been holding it up because I could not hear and he�d been trying to tell me.
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Felicity
Deafness

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#368710 - 01/23/08 03:29 AM Re: Can a deaf person drive? Tell me your experiences [Re: Felicity - Deafness Editor]
Felicity - Deafness Editor Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Shark

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 287
Loc: Australia
Some years ago I drove a company car. One rainy day driving to work, I�d gently slipped into the rear of a car which had stopped unexpectedly at a green light. Not much damage to my car and still driveable but repairs were needed so while it was in the shop I was loaned a courtesy car.

It just so happened that I had organised to visit cousins in Canberra that weekend. Not a long drive from inner Sydney to Canberra and one I was confident of doing without any trouble. But I hadn�t got far down the Campbelltown freeway before the loan car sputtered and died. I just had time to pull off onto the centre median strip before blocking a lane.

But what to do now? Not only did I have the annoyance of the car break down, I was deaf and couldn�t easily call for help. I was female, young, travelling by myself and I felt alone and vulnerable. This was in the days before mobile phones, which I couldn�t have used anyway.

I noticed the roadside telephone not far away so thought I�d try to use it. I picked up the receiver and spoke. �I am deaf. I cannot hear you. I repeat I am deaf and do not even know if this phone has connected. I�m broken down and I need help. The phone box number is xxxxx.� I hung and up then repeated the whole sequence, each time repeating the same kind of message for a couple of minutes before eventually hanging up. I hoped the message had been received; that even if the telemarketer thought it had been a hoax they would send someone out to investigate.

Having done that, there was nothing more to do, except wait. So I went back to the car, got out a blanket and spread it over the ground. It was a beautiful sunny Sydney day and I sat there patiently reading a book. I waited, waited and waited and then waited some more and still the motoring association (NRMA) did not come. Here I was sitting on a blanket in the middle of a freeway and no-one even stopped!!! I started to panic and imagined being stranded throughout the night. (I found out later a serial murderer was operating in the area - TRUE!)

However, after about three hours a tow truck driver pulled up on the opposite side of the carriage way and called out. Of course I couldn�t hear him, but I explained my dilemma. He called the NRMA and found they had never received my call. It wasn�t long before the NRMA service technician arrived, sorted out the engine problem and had me on my way.

This time it all worked out for me�. But there were other times when the car broke down and I had to get help, asking and trusting that complete strangers would do the right thing by me. Once I broke down travelling between Sydney and Brisbane on New Year� Eve. I had to spend a couple of nights in the car in a caravan park. It�s no wonder deaf people feel very vulnerable in situations like this. But with a bit of forethought it need not be so. Contact your local motoring service to find out of they have an SMS number for breakdown service for the deaf and hearing impaired.
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Felicity
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#369186 - 01/24/08 10:19 AM Re: Can a deaf person drive? Tell me your experiences [Re: Felicity - Deafness Editor]
Felicity - Deafness Editor Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Shark

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 287
Loc: Australia
Hearing impaired Drivers - Flash Card to help if pulled over by police. Have a look at this link for information.
BellaOnline ALERT: Raw URLs are not allowed in these forums for security reasons. Please use UBB code. If you don't know how to do UBB code just post here for help - we will help out!
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Felicity
Deafness

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#369962 - 01/26/08 06:42 AM Re: Can a deaf person drive? Tell me your experiences [Re: Felicity - Deafness Editor]
Felicity - Deafness Editor Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Shark

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 287
Loc: Australia
From Wendy - Hi there, regarding 'Can deaf people drive" yes we can BUT prior to having my Baha Divino I used to panic when I heard an emergency vehicle siren as I didn't know where it was coming from until it was ON TOP OF ME. I didn't know who was beeping their horns, when a truck wooshed past me I got a terrible fright as I couldn't hear it coming. So yes, deaf people can drive but it's more difficult and more visual. Wendy
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Felicity
Deafness

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#369970 - 01/26/08 07:18 AM Re: Can a deaf person drive? Tell me your experiences [Re: Felicity - Deafness Editor]
freespirit Offline
Koala

Registered: 05/08/07
Posts: 2142
I am not deaf but.. one time I had both ears infected so badly that all i could hear was the ringing in them nothing else and I was driving tto the store not to far from my apartment at the time and I was a nervous wreck! I had no idea that I used my ears so much to drive. But i have always turned down the radio when I get lost and I am tring to look for something to tell me where i am so I dont know why it suprised me so much that I did use my ears to drive as well...

that day I almost got ran over by an EMT and fire turck because i could not hear them coming and I changed lanes while they were trying to pass me. the cop that followed me home because i didnt hear him either took pitty on me after he tested me to make sure i was sober because I got out to get a peice of paper for him and me to write on because i also had a very soar throat and couldnt talk either.... anyways I stood up and got dizzy so he naturealy thought i was drunk... anyways i took the breathing test and wrote out that I could not hear because of the ear infections and couldnt talk because or the throat infection and that I didnt have anyone to go to the store and get my meds and stuff so.. I didnt think it would be a big deal to go for my self. Obviously I was wrong!!

I know that there are many deaf people who drive and it problem is easyer for them because they learn to drive this way but for me I think I will stay home! smile
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#371064 - 01/30/08 09:51 PM Re: Can a deaf person drive? Tell me your experiences [Re: freespirit]
Felicity - Deafness Editor Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Shark

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 287
Loc: Australia
Hey freespirit
You're right. It's not only the hearing impaired who sometimes have to drive deaf. I think it was probably harder for you than those of us with a hearing loss. We've slowly learned to compensate but you had to do it in a rush! Glad the copy understood your problem
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Felicity
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#408456 - 04/18/08 09:39 AM Re: Can a deaf person drive? Tell me your experiences [Re: Felicity - Deafness Editor]
Kelli Deister Offline
Gecko

Registered: 10/16/05
Posts: 576
Loc: Hawaii
When I first started losing my hearing, in early 1999, I was under the impression that I couldn't drive because I wouldn't be able to hear the sirens around me. However, when I attended my first ASL class, taught by a Deaf instructor, I learned that the deaf can certainly drive, but it does have more hazardous conditions to it. There are flashers that one can install in the car, but they can be costly. I am deaf in my left ear, and personally, even though I can still hear well with my hearing aid in my right ear, I have great difficulty with direction of sounds. So, I am also very aware when I drive of everyone around me, so that I am a safer driver.


Edited by kellideister (04/18/08 09:47 AM)
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Kelli Deister

www.booksbykelli.webs.com/

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#478337 - 12/23/08 06:15 AM Re: Can a deaf person drive? Tell me your experiences [Re: Kelli Deister]
JimWilfred Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 24
I am not favor to driving of deaf person.
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#492819 - 02/11/09 04:45 AM Re: Can a deaf person drive? Tell me your experiences [Re: JimWilfred]
Felicity - Deafness Editor Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Shark

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 287
Loc: Australia
Well that's sad Jim. I've been deaf for many years and driving safely for all of them.
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Felicity
Deafness

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#493152 - 02/12/09 03:20 AM Re: Can a deaf person drive? Tell me your experiences [Re: Felicity - Deafness Editor]
Angela -Poetry Editor Offline
Newbie

Registered: 12/29/08
Posts: 32
Loc: Florida
I am deaf---- a deaf person driving will use their vision much more and it has been shown that they can see lights from sirens before a hearing person can hear them.
The only restriction I have is making sure I have side mirrors on both sides. I dont have all the auditory distractions to distract me from the road
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