Safely operating vehicles require significant visual attention. While attention can be divided, cognitive resources are not limitless. Deaf and hearing participants engaged in a simulated driving task while simultaneously engaging in a conversation in their preferred language. Results indicated that hearing drivers may have a performance advantage over deaf drivers, though it is so minor that it will not likely be seen outside of the laboratory setting. The results also indicated differing cognitive processing among hearing and deaf drivers. The results may inform policy, reduce stigma, and serve as the base for future research on deaf-specific cognitive factors of driving.
Zodda, J. J., Nelson Schmitt, S. S., Crisologo, A. E., Plotkin, R., Yates, M., Witkin, G. A., & Hall, W. C. (2019). Signing While Driving: An Investigation of Divided Attention Resources Among Deaf Drivers. JADARA, 45(3). Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/jadara/vol45/iss3/4