Lots of older people have hearing loss, but does that mean it’s dangerous for them to drive? Driving habits differ amongst different individuals so the response isn’t clear-cut.
While hearing loss is a factor to think about when operating a vehicle, a competent driver is still capable even if they have to adjust the volume on the radio.
Whether hearing loss presents a risk while driving is a crucial consideration for people planning everyday commutes or winter road trips. Is your hearing loss making you a hazardous driver?
Think beyond driving…
If you are detecting hearing loss, it won’t have a significant impact on your ability to drive…yet. That day is coming, though, if you decide to just dismiss your decline.
There is a solid link between hearing health and brain health, as reported by Johns Hopkins Medicine. Struggling 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. Driving is definitely off the table 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 good observational skills including auditory awareness. Among the approximately 48 million Americans who have hearing loss, the majority of them still drive according to the Center for Hearing Communication.
Driving with hearing loss
With a few adjustments, you can still continue to be 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 eliminated by using hearing aids.
When you drive, be more observant
Even if you have hearing aids, you will still need to be a more observant driver to make sure you’re not missing anything in or surrounding your vehicle.
Keep the noise down inside your car
This will allow you to focus your listening on driving without distractions. 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 example, you won’t hear that clicking noise that lets you know that your turn signal is on. So routinely check your dashboard because your eyes will need to pick up the slack.
Keep your vehicle well maintained
Perhaps your car is making a weird noise in the engine but you are unable to hear it. Get your car serviced routinely so you can prevent this significant safety risk. For people with hearing loss, this is important, even more so than it would be for someone without hearing loss.
Pay close attention to other vehicles around you
This is a no-brainer for everyone 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 might 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.
Can you 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 used to be because odds are your other senses will help you make the adjustment. But if you’re feeling concerned about it, schedule an appointment to come see if we can help you better your situation, possibly by using hearing aids.
Give us a call right away to schedule your hearing test and investigate hearing aid options for your unique lifestyle.