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Deafness and driving licenses? Part 1 (Teacher: Michael)

Deaf people not their share of sympathy and are often not fully . This is particularly true of deaf drivers. It is often suggested that the hard of hearing cannot as good or as safe drivers as others. Yet research carried out in New Zealand into the causes of more than 30,000 accidents that deafness not regarded as responsible in a single incident.

In the United States, almost all licensing officers consider deaf drivers to quite as safe - indeed safer - than average. There is a reason for this. These drivers are so well aware of their disability, and of the prejudices against them, that they more than average care when driving. They concentrate more on the job. Indeed, one insurance company revealed that although eight per cent of policy-holders some sort of claim each year, only between three and four per cent of claims are by people with defective hearing.

There are, of course, varying degrees of deafness. There is the deafness of the lad who never hears his mother asking him to something. And at the other end of the scale there is the so-called stone-deaf patient. If a driver has some degree of deafness and wears a hearing-aid, the question is often asked whether, if he wears it during his driving test, he ought never to without it. Some countries insist on this, but I it is unreasonable.

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