Monday, August 30, 2010

How Do You Handle Car Trouble?

Our new car.
Recently my husband and I bought a new car, a 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt. We needed a second car since he has a long commute now and my little truck just isn't that reliable.

In fact, trouble with the truck has got me thinking. How do deaf people deal with car trouble? By that I mean all of the audible signals that something is wrong with the car.

I've run into issues with my truck that could have been picked up sooner if I was just able to hear the truck better. A lot of signals cars make end up being high pitched and I just don't hear them. For example, right now my brakes are squealing, but I don't hear anything. I just feel they are grinding when I press on the brake pedal.

The truck also makes a dinging noise if it thinks I left the key in the ignition and have opened the door. 99% of the time I didn't actually leave the key but it thinks I did. (My truck is a little quirky, as you can tell.) Usually I don't hear the dinging right away. I open the door, think I heard something, look around, listen, and finally realize it was dinging.

Luckily my husband is in the truck and drives it often enough that he hears what I don't. But thinking about driving often without someone else giving feedback makes me wish that more cars had visual as well as auditory signals. That wouldn't be practical with things like mechanical failure, when the sound isn't necessarily intentional but something broken. But signals such as the key in the ignition, lights left on, etc. could easily be visually indicated as well.

The new car does a pretty good job of being visual as well as auditory. There's a ton of information on a screen on the dash. The car itself is quiet so any sounds it makes would be unusual. I don't know enough about other cars to know what models are good at visual indicators.

What do you think? How do you handle car trouble?

2 comments:

  1. I was just thinking the same thing the other day, Megan! My husband was trying to point out to me that his brakes were squealing but I couldn't hear the noise they were making. It's probably a good idea to take a hearing person for a ride every once in awhile just so they can clue us in to any noises we may miss. Like you said, I wish there could be more visual indicators on the dashboard.

    Enjoy your new ride, Megan! It looks sharp.

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  2. Hi. I just discovered your blog and I'm really enjoying reading it so far. Yep, I never know if something is wrong with my car until someone else points it out to me. Though my car does have a visual indicator when it's time for regular maintenance.

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