Hearing loss is a common challenge for older individuals, but does it warrant quitting driving? The response isn’t straightforward, as driving habits differ among individuals.
While hearing loss is a factor to think about when operating a vehicle, a seasoned driver is still capable even if they need to lower the radio volume.
For individuals who commute frequently the question of whether hearing loss poses a threat while driving is a crucial consideration. Is your hearing loss making you a dangerous driver?
Think beyond driving…
Early stage hearing loss likely won’t negatively impact your driving, but if it’s neglected, driving will become increasingly hazardous.
There is a solid 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 leads to dementia. A person suffering from dementia certainly can’t drive.
Should you drive if you have hearing loss?
Driving demands robust 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 according to 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.
Visit us, get a hearing test, and consider how hearing aids can change things for you. Hearing aids can help eliminate the “should I be driving with hearing loss” question.
Be a more observant driver
You will still need to be observant about what’s happening around your vehicle even if you use hearing aids.
Keep the noise down inside your car
This will let you focus your listening on driving without distractions. Turn the radio off and ask your passengers to keep the chatter to a minimum.
Learn to look at your dashboard frequently
It’s the little things that will add up when you drive with hearing loss. You might not be capable of hearing that clicking noise that your turn signal makes, for example. So routinely check your dashboard because your eyes will have to pick up the slack.
Keep your vehicle well maintained
Perhaps your car is making a strange noise in the engine but you can’t hear it. Have your car serviced regularly so you can prevent this major safety risk. That’s a smart idea for most people but a necessity if you are driving with hearing loss.
Watch the other cars closely
This is a no-brainer for everybody but if you have hearing loss it’s even more poignant. If you see other cars pulling off the road, you should do that as well because you may have missed the sirens. watch to see how other drivers are responding to their surroundings to get hints on what you may not be hearing.
So is it possible to safely drive when you have hearing loss? It’s really a personal choice. It is possible to be a good driver even if your hearing is not what it used to be 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 improve your situation, possibly with hearing aids.
Come in and let us help you better your quality of life by looking at the hearing options that will be suitable for your distinctive hearing situation.