Hearing loss is a common challenge for older people, but does it require quitting driving? Driving habits differ amongst different people so the response isn’t clear-cut.
Even if some adjustments have to be made to the radio volume, hearing loss shouldn’t mean a competent driver has to quit driving.
For individuals who commute frequently the question of whether hearing loss presents a threat while driving is a significant consideration. Is your hearing loss making you a dangerous driver?
Think beyond driving…
If you are noticing hearing loss, it won’t have a significant impact on your driving ability…yet. That day is coming, though, if you decide to just disregard 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 fighting to hear, which causes it to have fewer resources for other everyday activities. It is a contributing factor to brain atrophy, which results in dementia. An individual suffering from dementia definitely can’t drive.
If you have hearing loss, can you still drive?
Driving demands robust 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.
Driving with hearing loss
You can still be a safe driver if you make some adjustments and follow these guidelines.
Visit us, get a hearing test, and consider how hearing aids can change things for you. Hearing aids can help remove the “should I be driving with hearing loss” question.
Be a more observant driver
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 around your vehicle.
Keep the noise down inside your car
This will allow you to focus your listening on driving without being distracted. Ask your passengers to talk more quietly and keep the radio down or off.
Remember to look at your dashboard frequently
It’s the little things that will mount up when you drive with hearing loss. For instance, you won’t hear that clicking sound that lets you know that your turn signal is on. You will have to depend on your eyes to compensate, so get used to scanning your dashboard to see what your car is attempting to tell you.
Make maintenance a priority
You may not hear that rattling noise under the hood anymore or the warning alarm telling you there is an issue with your engine or another critical component. Have your car serviced routinely so you can avoid this major safety risk. For people with hearing loss, this is crucial, even more so than it would be for somebody who doesn’t have 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 to the side of the road, you should do that too because you may have missed the sirens. watch to see how other drivers are reacting to their surroundings to get clues on what you may not be hearing.
Can you drive when you have hearing loss? It’s really a personal decision. It is possible to be a safe driver even if your hearing is not what it once was because most likely 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 better your situation, possibly by using hearing aids.
Come in and let us help you improve your quality of life by looking at the hearing options that will be appropriate for your distinctive hearing situation.