Navigating through the world with hearing loss can be difficult at times, particularly when you need to depend on your hearing for health and safety. Many individuals with hearing issues find that driving a car can become an issue. Thankfully, just because you have problems with hearing doesn’t mean that safe driving isn’t possible. Keep these safe driving tips in mind the next time you get behind the wheel.
- Eliminate distractions: If your hearing isn’t great you’ll have to be more reliant on other senses, such as vision. Therefore, you can put yourself (and your passengers) in danger if distractions such as electronic devices or food draw your eyes away from the road. Similarly, listening to the radio can make it even more difficult to hear sirens, horns, and other important traffic cues. Get rid of any influences that get between you and the road to make sure you aren’t missing crucial information.
- Be mindful of your hearing aid: If your hearing is aided by a hearing aid, be sure to wear it any time you drive a car. Be mindful of how your car’s atmosphere can influence your hearing aid’s functionality. Don’t be afraid to switch on the AC rather than driving with the windows open. The draft caused by rushing wind can reduce your hearing aid’s effectiveness, potentially putting you at risk.
- Keep up with car maintenance: Abnormal noises are a common danger signal that something isn’t quite right with your car. However, if you can’t pick up on audio clues that something is wrong with your vehicle you may end up driving an unsafe car. Keep regular maintenance appointments with your garage or dealership to make sure your car stays in optimum condition.
- Don’t drive if you are not comfortable: If you are not comfortable driving a vehicle with hearing loss, the don’t! There are many alternatives to owning an automobile, including public transportation. You are more likely to make dangerous mistakes if you drive while stressed, so only drive when you feel confident and safe.
As long as your doctor approves there is no reason for hearing loss to keep you from driving. Stay safe out there!