Can Deaf People Drive? – {All You Need to Know}

Many people want to know whether a deaf person can drive a car in their region or not, So if you want to know whether deaf people can drive or not, then you are lucky to find this article because I will explain all the nursing information that you need to know.

A lot of people that can hear wonder if deaf people that can’t hear how can drive, who gave them their driver’s license, these are some of the questions that people are asking themselves when they come across their drivers.

Yes, deaf people are allowed to drive in some parts of the world while some country prohibits it to ensure the safety of other road users, continue reading to in-depth knowledge of the topic.

Am I allowed to drive if I’m deaf or my hearing is impaired?

Yes, you are allowed to drive if you’re deaf! Driving relies on being visually aware of your surroundings, so being deaf or having hearing problems has little impact on your ability to drive. A lot of studies suggest that deaf people make better drivers because they are less distracted by noises made by passengers, radio, or phones!

You need to adapt several methods, but if you’re observant and good at picking up on visual clues, you are suitable for driving, even getting a driving job for several companies.

Driving Right For The Deaf

Almost everyone is given the right to drive, in most countries of the world and deaf people are not restricted in the ability to drive. Aside from that, they are also not restricted in their ability to work or have access to community medical and other public services that are available for people that can hear.

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Several communities are known as The Deaf community, these communities have had to fight for this important right. When the united states were making its initial driving laws in the 20s, most states accepted laws that deprive deaf people of access to driving licenses. After educating people that Deaf drivers posed no threat to public safety, the National Association of the Deaf and its state committees were able to win the repeal of these discriminatory laws.

So Deaf people in all 50 U.S. states have the right to drive, even though they still face discrimination in numerous aspects of driving.

A lot of Deaf people have reported being denied the ability to rent or test drive a car. They don’t allow them to do so because if they are involved in an accident, it will be very hard to prove they weren’t at fault since many hearing people assume that Deaf people can’t drive safely.

Deaf Drivers and Safety

A lot of hearing people wonder how a Deaf person can drive without being able to hear several sounds like a police siren, an ambulance needing the right of way, or a honking horn.

There are numerous methods of solving these popular problems for deaf people that are driving in the United States and other countries of the world.

A lot of Deaf people use electronic devices in their cars that will alert them, using a lighted panel, to sounds coming from outside the vehicle. Likewise, they also pay more attention than people that can hear because paying attention to visual cues, like the flashing lights of an emergency vehicle or cues from other drivers on the road.

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Hearing people wonder how a Deaf person would communicate with a police officer if pulled over. Currently, in the United States, a lot of Deaf drivers carry state-issued cards that let all the police officers know that they are Deaf and suggest several methods to communicate, such as by writing in a notebook. Some Deaf people find the cards unnecessary, especially if they’re able to lip-read well.

It isn’t unsafe if a driver can’t hear what’s happening outside the vehicle? Well, It has been confirmed that most deaf people stand lower chances of being involved in accidents than people with proper hearing since driving is more of a visual act. In addition, research suggests that deaf adults have better auxiliary vision than people who hear properly. 

Fighting for the Right to Drive Worldwide

In a 2009 report, the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) showed that of 93 national Deaf organizations surveyed, 31 indicated that Deaf people are not allowed to obtain a driver’s license. 93 countries surveyed did not respond to the questionnaire and not to mention the fact that there are nearly 200 countries in the world in total. So it is unclear exactly how many countries deny Deaf people the right to drive. A WFD report shows that about 26 respondents indicated that Deaf people are not allowed to drive in their country.

If you want to know the list of countries that allow deaf people to drive and the list of those countries that do not allow deaf people to drive, then you need to check the list below.

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You need to remember that before a country allows you to drive you need to get a driver’s license. So a lot of countries do not allow deaf people to get driver’s licenses automatically they will be allowed to drive.

So the country that gives deaf people a driver’s license automatically wants them to drive.

Countries That Allow Deaf People to Obtain a Driver’s License

1. Africa: Eastern and Southern

Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland,

Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe

2. Africa: Western and Central

Burkina Faso, Cameroon, DR Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, Sierra Leone

3. Arab Region

Iraq, Bahrain, Algeria, Lebanon, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Palestine, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia 

4. Asia and Pacific

Australia, Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal (2012), New Zealand, The Philippines, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand

5. Eastern Europe and Middle Asia

Republic of Belarus, Bulgaria, Republic of Kazakhstan, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Republic of Uzbekistan

6. European Union

All countries

7. North America, Central America, and the Caribbean

Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Suriname, USA

8. South America

Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela

Countries That Don’t Allow Deaf People to Obtain a Driver’s License

1. Africa: Eastern and Southern

Burundi, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sudan, Zambia

2. Africa: Western and Central

Benin, Cape Verde, Chad, Gabon, Niger, Senegal, Togo

3. Arab Region

Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Yemen

4. Asia and Pacific


5. Eastern Europe and Middle Asia

Republic of Armenia, Ukraine

6. Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean

Haiti, Nicaragua

7. South America

Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay