Motoring Weekly

Bump in the road

October 21 - 27, 2020
Gulf Weekly Bump in the road

Gulf Weekly Naman Arora
By Naman Arora

Thousands of social media users are sharing posts, which claim that the small bumps on a car steering wheel are Braille to help visually-impaired drivers find the horn.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) told Reuters news agency the bumps on the steering wheel were designed to allow drivers to identify the pressing zone for the horn.

They said these dots are more common on older cars where drivers had to press a certain point to blast the horn, whereas on modern cars they are not necessary because ‘contactor points cover the complete area of the pressing zone’.

And, several online Braille translators show that the cluster of dots pictured on the steering wheel circulating online looks different to the Braille for ‘horn’.

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) confirmed that the bumps are not Braille: “Braille is not used on car steering wheels, nor do the bumps convey any useful tactile information to blind people,” a spokesman said.

Drivers need to have a certain standard of vision to drive in most countries around the world. The NFB added that although a wide range of eye conditions is covered by the word ‘blind’, as a very general rule, a person who uses Braille as their primary method of reading and writing will not be able to see well enough to drive.

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