Many older individuals experience hearing loss, but does that mean it’s hazardous for them to drive? Driving habits vary amongst different people so the response isn’t straightforward.
While hearing loss is a component to consider when operating a vehicle, a skilled driver is still capable even if they have to lower the volume on the radio.
For individuals who commute on a regular basis the question of whether hearing loss creates a threat while driving is an important consideration. Is your driving becoming dangerous because of hearing loss?
Think beyond driving…
Early stage hearing loss probably won’t negatively effect 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 your brain to use valuable resources just to understand what individuals are saying. It is a contributing factor to brain atrophy, which results in dementia. Somebody suffering from dementia definitely can’t drive.
Should you drive with hearing loss?
You can continue to drive with hearing loss, but it should be noted that safe driving demands good observational skills and this includes auditory awareness. The Center for Hearing and Communication estimates around 48 million Americans have significant hearing loss, and a good number of them still drive.
Driving with hearing loss
You can still be a safe driver if you make some adjustments and follow these guidelines.
Quit putting off
Visit us, have your hearing tested, and think about 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 observant
You will still need to be aware of what’s happening 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. Turn the radio off or down and ask your passengers to keep the chatter to a minimum.
Remember to look at your dashboard frequently
When you drive with hearing loss, the little things can add up. You may not be able to hear that clicking noise that your turn signal makes, for instance. So routinely check your dashboard because your eyes will have to pick up the slack.
Make maintenance a priority
You might not hear that rattling noise under the hood anymore or the warning bell telling you there is an issue with your engine or another essential component. That is a major safety hazard, so make a point of getting your car serviced regularly. That’s a good plan for most individuals but a necessity if you are driving with hearing loss.
Pay attention to other vehicles around you
This is a no-brainer for everybody but if you have hearing loss it’s even more poignant. You might not hear emergency sirens, for instance, so if the cars are pulling off to the side, you should as well. Use the actions of other drivers to get some visual hints about traffic patterns around you.
So is it possible to safely drive with hearing loss? It’s really a personal choice. It is possible to be a good driver even if your hearing isn’t what it once was because odds are your other senses will help you make the adjustment. If the thought of this makes you nervous, though, then it’s time to consult us and find a treatment to improve your situation, like using hearing aids.
Contact us right away to schedule your hearing exam and investigate hearing aid solutions for your distinctive lifestyle.