It feels good to not wear my hearing aids every waking moment.  I shop for groceries, drive, and clean house sans my aids.  Why should I waste batteries amplifying silence?  Besides that, my ears (and brain) need a rest from the constant assault of sound. It’s exhausting hearing unnecessarily. I welcome the peace and quiet. Occasionally, I run into friends while “going commando” hoh-style. Inevitably, upon discovering my “nakedness,” the conversation goes a lot like this: 

“How can you drive without your hearing aids?  Isn’t that dangerous?” 

“How is that dangerous?” 

“You know what I mean – you can’t hear sirens!” 

“Let me ask you a question.  Do you listen to music when you drive?” 

“Yes.”  

“Do you ever crank up the volume?” 

“Of course!” 

“Then you can’t hear sirens, either.” 

“Oh.” 

Can you say audism?  In general, deaf and hard of hearing people have better driving records than normal hearing people.  Read on:

“Deaf people make better drivers than people with normal hearing — and they could be the world’s safest motorists, a fascinating new study shows. “That’s because they compensate for their disability by concentrating on watching the road,” the research showed. “‘They’ve got it all over us hearing people when it comes to driving,” said a spokesman for the National Association of Driver Educators for the Disabled. “‘They’ve always taken in everything with their eyes and as a result they tend to see everything when they’re at the wheel.”

“And not being able to hear ambulance and other emergency sirens doesn’t make deaf drivers unsafe at all. The study found that deaf drivers check their rear view mirrors frequently and can tell immediately if they should pull to the side of the road.” –

– Weekly World News, Lantaria, FL, April 25, 1995.     

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