Many older people have hearing loss, but does that mean it’s hazardous for them to drive? The response isn’t clear-cut, as driving habits vary among individuals.
While hearing loss is a component to think about when operating a vehicle, a seasoned driver remains proficient even if they need to adjust the radio volume.
For individuals who commute on a regular basis the question of whether hearing loss presents a threat while driving is a significant consideration. Is your driving becoming unsafe because of hearing loss?
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 choose to simply disregard your decline.
Johns Hopkins Medicine reports there is a definite link between hearing and brain health. Struggling to hear forces the brain to use valuable resources just to comprehend what people are saying. It has a detrimental effect on cognition and can play a role in the onset of dementia. Driving is definitely out of the question for somebody with 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 requires strong observational skills and this includes auditory awareness. The Center for Hearing and Communication estimates about 48 million Americans have significant hearing loss, and a good number of them still drive.
Driving with hearing loss
You can still be a safe driver if you make some adjustments and use these tips.
Visit us, get a hearing test, and think about how hearing aids can change things for you. 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 around your vehicle.
Don’t let it get too noisy in your car
This will let you focus your listening on driving without being distracted. Turn the radio off or down 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 instance, you will no longer hear that clicking noise that lets you know that your turn signal is blinking. So routinely check your dashboard because your eyes will have to pick up the slack.
Make maintenance a priority
Maybe your car is making a weird noise in the engine but you can’t hear it. Get your car serviced routinely so you can avoid this major safety risk. For people with hearing loss, this is important, even more so than it would be for someone who doesn’t have hearing loss.
Watch the other cars closely
Obviously, you would do that anyway, but you want to watch for signs you might be missing something. 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. Use the behavior of other drivers to get some visual clues about traffic patterns around you.
Can you drive with hearing loss? That’s up to you. It is possible to be a good driver even if your hearing isn’t what it used to be because most likely your other senses will help you make the adjustment. If the thought of this makes you nervous, though, then it’s time to come see us and find a treatment to improve your situation, like wearing hearing aids.
Call us today to schedule your hearing exam and investigate hearing aid options for your distinctive lifestyle.