Hearing loss is a widespread challenge for older individuals, but does it warrant quitting driving? Driving habits vary amongst different individuals so the response isn’t straightforward.
While hearing loss is a component to consider when operating a vehicle, a seasoned driver remains proficient even if they need to adjust the radio volume.
For individuals who commute on a regular basis the question of whether hearing loss creates a threat while driving is a crucial consideration. Is your hearing loss making you a hazardous driver?
Think beyond driving…
If you are noticing hearing loss, it won’t have a huge impact on your ability to drive…yet. That day is coming, though, if you decide to simply ignore your decline.
There is a strong connection between hearing health and brain health, as reported by Johns Hopkins Medicine. The brain has to work overtime struggling to hear, which causes it to have fewer resources for other daily activities. It has a detrimental effect on cognition and can play a role in the onset of dementia. A person 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 demands good observational skills including auditory awareness. The Center for Hearing and Communication reports that around 48 million Americans have substantial hearing loss, and a good number of them still drive.
Guidelines for driving if you have hearing loss
With a few adjustments, you can still remain safe on the road. Here are some tips.
Stop putting off
Come in to see us for a hearing exam and find out if hearing aids will help your situation. The question of whether you should be driving can be eliminated by using hearing aids.
Be a more observant driver
Even if you have hearing aids, you will still need to be a more aware driver to ensure you’re not missing anything in or surrounding your vehicle.
Don’t let it get too loud in your car
This will allow you to focus your listening on driving without distractions. Turn the radio off or down and ask your passengers to keep the chit-chat to a minimum.
Keep an eye on your dash lights
When you drive with hearing loss, the little things can add up. For example, you won’t hear that clicking sound that tells you that your turn signal is on. So regularly check your dashboard because your eyes will need to pick up the slack.
Keep your vehicle well maintained
You may not hear that rattling noise under the hood anymore or the warning bell alerting you to a problem with your engine or another crucial component. That is a major safety risk, so make a point of having your car serviced regularly. For individuals with hearing loss, this is crucial, even more so than it would be for somebody without hearing loss.
Watch the other cars closely
Of course, you would do that anyway, but you want to look for signs you may be missing something. If you see other cars pulling off the road, you should do that also because you might have missed the sirens. watch to see how other drivers are responding to their surroundings to get clues 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 odds are your other senses will help you make the adjustment. If the thought of this makes you anxious, though, then it’s time to consult us and find a solution to improve your situation, like using hearing aids.
Come in and let us help you improve your quality of life by investigating the hearing options that will be suited to your distinctive hearing situation.