On the Arrive Alive road safety website we have created a section titled “Hearing and Road Safety”. Having previously given much attention to vision and road safety, we thought it is appropriate to also give attention to the sense of hearing and how this might impact on road safety.
Driver fitness is one of the important requirements for safety on the road – and we often discuss factors such as intoxication, driver fatigue, medical conditions etc – but don’t give much attention to the effect of hearing loss and deafness on the driving ability of a person. The only part where we usually refer to “hearing” is as part of a driver distraction where people listen to iPods or loud music!
It is interesting to note that there is no evidence that deaf drivers cause more accidents or receive more traffic fines than other drivers. It is true that our best drivers are well aware of their limitations to awareness on the road – and are rather more likely to pay closer attention to what is happening around and in front of them!
There is also no evidence that insurers will require a higher car insurance premium – and this might be as a result of the following facts:
- That there is no proven higher risk of vehicle accidents by deaf and hearing impaired drivers
- There is actually less risk of driver distraction from car radios, passengers and cellular phone conversations
- Deafness is not considered an affliction that affects ability to drive
- Higher quotes might contravene disability discrimination legislation – without data to prove hearing-impaired drivers are a higher risk, higher quotes would be discrimination based on a disability.
We would like to invite all our visitors to view the more comprehensive section titled: