Hearing loss is a common challenge for older people, but does it warrant giving up driving? Driving habits vary amongst different people so the response isn’t straightforward.
While hearing loss is a factor to consider when driving a vehicle, a skilled driver is still proficient even if they have to lower the radio volume.
For people who commute on a regular basis the question of whether hearing loss presents a threat while driving is a significant consideration. Is your driving becoming dangerous because of hearing loss?
Think beyond driving…
Early stage hearing loss likely won’t negatively impact your driving, but if it’s neglected, driving will become progressively more unsafe.
Johns Hopkins Medicine reports there is a definite connection between hearing and brain health. Struggling to hear forces the brain to use valuable resources just to comprehend what individuals 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.
Should you drive with hearing loss?
You can still drive with hearing loss, but it should be mentioned that safe driving requires good observational skills and this includes auditory awareness. The Center for Hearing and Communication reports that about 48 million Americans have significant hearing loss, and a good number of them still drive.
Guidelines for driving if you have hearing loss
You can still be a safe driver if you make some adjustments and use these tips.
Stop putting off
Visit us, get a hearing test, and think about how hearing aids can change things for you. The question of whether you should be driving can be eliminated by using hearing aids.
Be a more aware driver
You will still need to be aware of what’s going on around your vehicle even if you use hearing aids.
Don’t let it get too noisy in 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.
Remember to check your dashboard often
When you drive with hearing loss, the little things can mount up. For instance, you won’t hear that clicking noise that tells you that your turn signal is blinking. You will have to rely on your eyes to pick up the slack, so get in the habit of scanning your dashboard to see what your car is attempting to tell you.
Keep your vehicle well maintained
Maybe your car is making a strange noise in the engine but you can’t hear it. That is a significant safety hazard, so make a point of getting your car serviced routinely. For individuals with hearing loss, this is important, even more so than it would be for somebody who doesn’t have hearing loss.
Pay close attention to other vehicles around you
This is a no-brainer for everybody but if you have hearing loss it’s even more poignant. If you see other cars pulling to the side of the road, you should do that as well because you might have missed the sirens. watch to see how other drivers are responding to their surroundings to get hints on what you might not be hearing.
Can you drive when you have hearing loss? That’s up to you. Your other senses will normally adjust to help keep you safe, which means it is possible to drive safely even if your hearing is beginning to go. If the idea makes you nervous, though, then it’s time to consult us and find a treatment to improve your situation, like using hearing aids.
Give us a call today to schedule your hearing test and investigate hearing aid options for your unique lifestyle.