Many older individuals have hearing loss, but does that mean it’s hazardous for them to drive? The response isn’t clear-cut, as driving habits vary among individuals.
While hearing loss is a factor to consider when operating a vehicle, a competent driver remains capable even if they need to lower the radio volume.
For people who commute frequently the question of whether hearing loss presents a threat while driving is an important consideration. Is your hearing loss making you a dangerous driver?
Think beyond driving…
If you are detecting hearing loss, it won’t have a huge impact on your driving ability…yet. That day is coming, though, if you decide to just dismiss your decline.
Johns Hopkins Medicine reports there is a distinct link between hearing and brain health. Battling to hear forces the brain to use valuable resources just to comprehend what individuals are saying. It has a negative impact on cognition and can contribute to the onset of dementia. Driving is definitely out of the question for someone who has dementia.
If you have hearing loss, can you still drive?
You can continue to drive with hearing loss, but it should be noted that safe driving demands strong observational skills including auditory awareness. Among the approximately 48 million Americans who suffer from 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 change things for you. The question of whether you should be driving can be eliminated by using hearing aids.
When you drive, be more aware
Even if you have hearing aids, you will still need to be a more observant driver to ensure you aren’t missing anything in or surrounding your vehicle.
Keep the noise down inside your car
This will let you focus your listening on driving without distractions. Ask your passengers to chat more quietly and keep the radio down or off.
Keep an eye on your dash lights
It’s the little things that will add up when you drive with hearing loss. For example, you will no longer hear that clicking noise that tells you that your turn signal is on. So regularly look at your dashboard because your eyes will need to pick up the slack.
Make maintenance a priority
Perhaps your car is making a strange noise in the engine but you are unable to hear it. Get your car serviced regularly so you can avoid this major safety risk. That’s a good idea for most individuals but a necessity if you are driving with hearing loss.
Watch the other cars closely
Of course, you would do that anyway, but you want to watch for signs you may be missing something. You may not hear emergency sirens, for instance, so if the cars are pulling off to the side, you should as well. watch to see how other drivers are reacting to their surroundings to get hints on what you may not be hearing.
Can you drive with hearing loss? It’s really a personal decision. Your other senses will usually adjust to help keep you safe, which means it is possible to drive safely even if your hearing has started to go. But if you’re feeling worried about it, make an appointment to come see if we can help you improve your situation, possibly by using hearing aids.
Come in and let us help you better your quality of life by exploring the hearing options that will be suited to your unique hearing situation.