Currently, there are around 11 million hearing-impaired people in the UK. While it can cause some challenges, for the most part, it doesn’t impact daily life too much.
If you or a loved one has hearing loss, then you might be wondering: can you drive with hearing loss? Read on to find out the answer to this question and more.
The most important question on your mind is probably this: are deaf people allowed to drive?
The most basic answer to this question is in the UK, you won’t have to disclose your hearing loss to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) if you’re driving a car or motorcycle. The exception is if you’re over the age of 70.
However, if you do have any medical conditions on the UK Government’s list, then you’ll need to disclose them, as they can affect how you drive.
On the other hand, if you’re planning on driving a bus, coach, or lorry, then you must tell the DVLA about your hearing impairment. In fact, you need to fill out an AUD1 form.
So the above information should give you some peace of mind if you’ve been wondering: are deaf people allowed to drive?
Some might be concerned that drivers with hearing impairment will suffer from disadvantages while driving. While it’s true that they won’t be able to hear certain auditory cues from other drivers around them, this is only a minor setback.
Drivers who are deaf actually have some advantages. They’re not distracted by the radio or passengers, and because they can’t hear, they’ll be more focused on driving and won’t be distracted with things like mobile phones.
Also, in order to make up for the loss of one sense, hearing-impaired people actually have better vision. The peripheral visual reaction time is faster in deaf people, so this can actually make them safer drivers than regular hearing people.
People with hearing loss can take regular driving lessons. Lip reading is a must, as instructors aren’t allowed to use sign language to assist you. However, they are allowed to sketch and write down information to help you during your lessons.
Assuming you’re driving a car or motorcycle because you won’t have to disclose your hearing loss to the DVLA, you can just apply for a provisional driving license like a regular hearing person would.
So can you drive with hearing loss? Fortunately, the answer is yes. Even if you want to drive a bus, coach, or lorry, you’re allowed to with hearing impairment, so long as you fill out the proper forms.
So if you’ve been hesitant to get your driving license because of your hearing loss, hopefully, this information has encouraged you to to go ahead with taking lessons.
Are you looking for a driving instructor company that has experience with deaf people? Then contact us now. We create bespoke lessons that are highly enjoyable!