Lots of older people experience hearing loss, but does that mean it’s dangerous for them to drive? Driving habits vary amongst different people so the response isn’t clear-cut.
While hearing loss is a component to think about when operating a vehicle, a seasoned driver remains capable even if they have to lower the radio volume.
For people who commute frequently the question of whether hearing loss creates a threat while driving is a significant consideration. Is your driving becoming unsafe because of hearing loss?
Think beyond driving…
If you are noticing hearing loss, it won’t have a substantial impact on your ability to drive…yet. That day is coming, though, if you choose to just ignore your decline.
Johns Hopkins Medicine reports there is a distinct link between hearing and brain health. The brain has to work overtime struggling to hear, which causes it to have fewer resources for other everyday activities. It has a negative impact on cognition and can contribute to the onset of dementia. Somebody suffering from dementia certainly can’t drive.
Should you drive if you have hearing loss?
You can continue to drive with hearing loss, but it should be mentioned that safe driving demands strong observational skills including auditory awareness. The Center for Hearing and Communication estimates around 48 million Americans have substantial hearing loss, and a good portion of them still drive.
Driving with hearing loss
With some adjustments, you can still continue to be safe on the road. Here are some tips.
Quit putting off
Visit us, have your hearing tested, and consider how hearing aids can help things for you. Hearing aids can help remove the “should I be driving with hearing loss” question.
Be a more aware driver
Even if you have hearing aids, you will still need to be a more observant driver to ensure you’re not missing anything in or around your vehicle.
Keep the noise down inside your car
This will let you focus your listening on driving without being distracted. Turn the radio off and ask your passengers to keep the chit-chat to a minimum.
Learn to check your dashboard often
When you drive with hearing loss, the little things can add up. You might not be able to hear that clicking sound that your turn signal makes, for instance. So regularly check your dashboard because your eyes will need to compensate.
Keep your vehicle well maintained
Maybe your car is making a strange noise in the engine but you can’t hear it. That is a major safety risk, so make a point of getting your car serviced routinely. That’s a good idea for most people but a necessity if you are driving with hearing loss.
Pay attention to other vehicles around you
Obviously, you would do that anyway, but you want to watch for signs you might be missing something. You might not hear emergency sirens, for instance, so if the cars are pulling off to the side, you should too. Use the behavior of other drivers to get some visual clues about traffic patterns around you.
So is it possible to safely 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 used to be because most likely your other senses will help you make the adjustment. But if you’re feeling worried about it, schedule an appointment to come see if we can help you better your situation, possibly by using hearing aids.
Call us today to schedule your hearing test and look into hearing aid solutions for your distinctive lifestyle.