Hearing loss is a widespread challenge for older individuals, but does it warrant giving up driving? The response isn’t straightforward, as driving habits vary among individuals.
While hearing loss is a component to think about when operating a vehicle, a skilled driver remains capable even if they have to lower the radio volume.
For individuals who commute frequently the question of whether hearing loss creates a threat while driving is a crucial consideration. Is your driving becoming hazardous because of hearing loss?
Think beyond driving…
Early stage hearing loss most likely won’t negatively impact your driving, but if it’s neglected, driving will become progressively more unsafe.
There is a strong connection between hearing health and brain health, as reported by Johns Hopkins Medicine. Battling to hear forces the brain to use valuable resources just to comprehend what people are saying. It has a negative effect on cognition and can contribute to the onset of dementia. Someone suffering from dementia definitely can’t drive.
If you have hearing loss, can you still drive?
You can still drive with hearing loss, but it should be mentioned that safe driving demands strong observational skills including auditory awareness. The Center for Hearing and Communication reports that around 48 million Americans have substantial hearing loss, and a good portion of them still drive.
Tips for driving if you have hearing loss
You can still be a safe driver if you make some adjustments and follow these guidelines.
Come in to see us for a hearing test and find out if hearing aids will help your condition. Hearing aids can help get rid of the “should I be driving with hearing loss” question.
Be a more observant driver
You will still need to be observant about what’s going on around your vehicle even if you use hearing aids.
Don’t let it get too loud in your car
This will allow you to focus your listening on driving without being distracted. Turn the radio off or down and ask your passengers to keep the chatter to a minimum.
Keep an eye on your dash lights
When you drive with hearing loss, the little things can mount up. For example, you will no longer hear that clicking noise that tells you that your turn signal is blinking. So routinely check your dashboard because your eyes will have to compensate.
Keep your vehicle well maintained
You may not hear that rattling noise under the hood anymore or the warning alarm telling you there is an issue with your engine or another critical component. Get your car serviced regularly so you can prevent this significant safety hazard. For people with hearing loss, this is crucial, even more so than it would be for somebody who doesn’t have hearing loss.
Watch the other cars closely
This is a no-brainer for everyone but if you have hearing loss it’s even more poignant. You may not hear emergency sirens, for instance, so if the cars are pulling off to the side, you should too. watch to see how other drivers are reacting to their surroundings to get clues on what you may not be hearing.
Can you drive with hearing loss? That’s up to you. It is possible to be a good driver even if your hearing is not what it once was because most likely your other senses will help you make the adjustment. But if you’re feeling worried about it, make an appointment to come see if we can help you improve your situation, possibly with hearing aids.
Come in and let us help you better your quality of life by looking at the hearing solutions that will be suited to your unique hearing situation.