Lots of older people have hearing loss, but does that mean it’s hazardous for them to drive? The response isn’t clear-cut, as driving habits differ among individuals.
While hearing loss is a factor to consider when driving a vehicle, a seasoned driver is still proficient even if they need to lower the radio volume.
For individuals who commute on a regular basis the question of whether hearing loss presents a threat while driving is an important consideration. Is your driving becoming unsafe because of hearing loss?
Think beyond driving…
If you are noticing hearing loss, it won’t have a significant impact on your ability to drive…yet. That day is coming, though, if you choose to simply dismiss your decline.
Johns Hopkins Medicine reports there is a definite link between hearing and brain health. Battling to hear forces the brain to use valuable resources just to understand what individuals are saying. It has a negative effect on cognition and can contribute to the onset of dementia. Driving is definitely out of the question for a person who has dementia.
If you have hearing loss, can you still drive?
You can still drive with hearing loss, but it should be noted that safe driving demands strong observational skills and this includes 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.
Driving with hearing loss
With a few adjustments, you can still remain safe on the road. Here are some tips.
Come in to see us for a hearing test and find out if hearing aids will help your condition. The question of whether you should be driving can be removed by using hearing aids.
When you drive, be more observant
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 help you be less distracted. Turn the radio off 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 instance, you will no longer hear that clicking noise that tells you that your turn signal is blinking. You will have to rely on your eyes to compensate, so get used to scanning your dashboard to see what your car is attempting to tell you.
Keep your vehicle well maintained
Perhaps your car is making a strange noise in the engine but you can’t hear it. That is a major safety hazard, so make a point of having your car serviced routinely. For individuals with hearing loss, this is crucial, even more so than it would be for somebody who doesn’t have hearing loss.
Pay attention to other vehicles around you
Of course, you would do that anyway, but you want to watch for signs you may be missing something. If you see other cars pulling to the side of the road, you should do that too because you might have missed the sirens. Use the actions of other drivers to get some visual clues about traffic patterns around you.
So is it possible to safely 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 by using hearing aids.
Contact us right away to schedule your hearing exam and look into hearing aid solutions for your distinctive lifestyle.