Many older individuals experience hearing loss, but does that mean it’s dangerous for them to drive? The response isn’t straightforward, as driving habits vary among individuals.
Even if some adjustments need to be made to the radio volume, hearing loss shouldn’t mean a seasoned driver has to stop driving.
For individuals who commute on a regular basis the question of whether hearing loss creates a threat while driving is a crucial consideration. Is your driving becoming unsafe 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 increasingly unsafe.
There is a strong link between hearing health and brain health, as reported by Johns Hopkins Medicine. Struggling to hear forces the brain to use valuable resources just to comprehend what individuals are saying. It is a contributing factor to brain atrophy, which results in dementia. Driving is definitely out of the question for a person with dementia.
Should you drive with hearing loss?
Driving demands good observational skills and some of that is auditory, but that doesn’t mean you can’t drive with hearing loss. Among the approximately 48 million Americans who have hearing loss, most of them still drive as reported by the Center for Hearing Communication.
Tips for driving if you have hearing loss
You can still be a safe driver if you make some adjustments and follow these guidelines.
Quit putting off
Visit us, get a hearing test, and consider how hearing aids can help things for you. Hearing aids can help remove the “should I be driving with hearing loss” question.
When you drive, be more aware
Even with hearing aids, you will still need to be a more observant driver to ensure you’re not missing anything in or around your vehicle.
Don’t let it get too noisy in your car
This will help you be less distracted. Turn the radio off or down and ask your passengers to keep the chit-chat to a minimum.
Keep an eye on your dash lights
It’s the little things that will mount up when you drive with hearing loss. You might not be able to hear that clicking sound that your turn signal makes, for instance. You will have to rely on your eyes to compensate, so get in the habit of scanning your dashboard to see what your car is attempting to tell you.
Make maintenance a priority
Maybe your car is making a strange noise in the engine but you can’t hear it. That is a significant safety risk, so make a point of having your car serviced regularly. For individuals with hearing loss, this is important, even more so than it would be for somebody who doesn’t have hearing loss.
Watch the other cars closely
Of course, you would do that anyway, but you want to look for signs you might be missing something. If you see other cars pulling to the side of the road, you should do that too because you may have missed the sirens. 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 safe 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 concerned about it, make an appointment to come see if we can help you better your situation, possibly with hearing aids.
Come in and let us help you improve your quality of life by investigating the hearing solutions that will be suited to your distinctive hearing situation.