Monday, May 23, 2011

Story series - how we stayed together

Driving tactics as a deaf driver traveling with other deaf drivers in the pre-pager days are unique. Even in the age of smartphones, deaf drivers like me still use the same unusual tactics.

Hearing drivers could easily work out the agreed-upon horn signal (beep, beeeeeep, beep-beep is my horn signal LOL) and you'd know it's that person when that person uses the correct horn response.

In the old days during daytime, deaf drivers kept track of each other through herding, visual, and memory tricks. The herding tactic is self-explanatory...we stayed together as best whenever we could. The visual part is easy because we simply looked for cars that were of specific make & model. The memory part? License plates and any distinguishing mark on the car - dents and peeling paint stand out more in our minds than leaves or anything nature-made.

Now, what about nighttime? Forget about all of the tactics as described above. You can't see ANYTHING past the headlights, even in the mirror or when you eyeball the driver while the headlights are in your eyes despite what the movies show you. I always chuckle when a driver in the movie is able to make out who the driver is while that driver is behind the first driver. I have never ever been able to see anything beyond the headlights. Can't see the driver even if the interior lights were on.

I thought of using this standard feature found in cars as a way of saying "Yes, that's me behind/in front of you". I was proud of coming up with that until others said, "we have been using that too." ;) The standard feature is something you would never think of using because you normally use that for emergency situations.

Yes, the hazard lights.

It's an excellent way to "communicate" and it is far less intrusive than flashing high beams at other drivers. Flashing high beams can confuse other drivers who aren't your intended targets anyway. Plus, there is no way you can signal a driver behind you. Hence, the hazard lights.

Because it's easy to lose each other in the cacophony of headlights at nighttime, we need a way of confirming each other. So, when you see someone randomly use hazard lights and you see someone else respond...


A Daft Scots Lass said...

I simply can't drive at night because I can't see a damn thing. Thats a serious problem and if I've had a few toots, och well, forget it, I may as well just crawl home.

DCHY said...

ADSL - sounds like you have what's called "night blindness". For some, it becomes more pronounced when it rains and the roads seem to have disappeared. The fav trick is looking at the road strips that define the road.