Lots of older individuals experience hearing loss, but does that mean it’s dangerous for them to drive? Driving habits vary amongst different individuals so the response isn’t clear-cut.
While hearing loss is a factor to think about when operating a vehicle, a skilled driver remains capable even if they have to lower the volume on the radio.
Whether hearing loss presents a risk while driving is a crucial consideration for people planning regular commutes or winter road trips. Is your driving becoming hazardous because of hearing loss?
Think beyond driving…
If you are detecting hearing loss, it won’t have a substantial impact on your driving ability…yet. That day is coming, though, if you choose to just dismiss your decline.
Johns Hopkins Medicine has found there is a definite connection between hearing and brain health. Battling to hear forces your brain to use valuable resources just to comprehend what people are saying. It has a negative impact on cognition and can contribute to the onset of dementia. Someone suffering from dementia certainly can’t drive.
If you have hearing loss, can you still drive?
Driving requires good 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 suffer from hearing loss, the majority of them still drive according to the Center for Hearing Communication.
Guidelines for driving if you have hearing loss
You can still be a safe driver if you make some adjustments and follow these guidelines.
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 removed 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 have hearing aids.
Don’t let it get too noisy in your car
This will help you be less distracted. Ask your passengers to talk more quietly and keep the radio down or off.
Keep an eye on your dash lights
It’s the little things that will mount up when you drive with hearing loss. You might not be capable of hearing that clicking sound that your turn signal makes, for example. You will have to rely on your eyes to pick up the slack, so get used to checking your dashboard to see what your car is trying to tell you.
Make maintenance a priority
Maybe your car is making a strange noise in the engine but you can’t hear it. Get your car serviced routinely so you can avoid this significant safety hazard. That’s a smart plan for most individuals but a necessity if you are driving with hearing loss.
Watch the other cars closely
This is a no-brainer for everyone 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 may have missed the sirens. Look to see how other drivers are reacting to their surroundings to get clues on what you may not be hearing.
Can you drive with hearing loss? That’s up to you. It is possible to be a good driver even if your hearing is not what it once was because odds are your other senses will help you make the adjustment. But if you’re feeling worried about it, make an appointment to come see if we can help you improve your situation, possibly by using hearing aids.
Call us today to schedule your hearing test and explore hearing aid solutions for your distinctive lifestyle.