Navigating through the world with hearing loss can be challenging at times, especially when you need to rely on your hearing for health and safety. Driving a car is one area that can cause difficulties for many people affected by impaired hearing. Thankfully, just because you have problems with hearing doesn’t mean that safe driving is out of the question. Follow some simple driving tips and you can drive perfectly safely.
Keep your car in good shape: If your vehicle is making a strange sound there is most likely a problem with it. 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. Stay up to date with routine maintenance to make sure your car is in proper condition.
Only drive when you feel comfortable: If your hearing loss makes you feel uneasy while driving a car it’s best to avoid it. Take advantage of public transportation or other driving alternatives. Driving while stressed or uncomfortable may make you more likely to make dangerous errors, so don’t get behind the wheel unless you are feeling safe and confident.
Reduce distractions: In case your hearing isn’t ideal you will have to rely 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. You’ll also find that it becomes more difficult to hear important traffic cues if you have the radio on while driving. By cutting out these distractions while you’re behind the wheel you can make sure you’re taking in all the information you need.
Be mindful of your hearing aid: If your hearing is assisted by a hearing aid, be sure to put it on every time you get behind the wheel. Be mindful of how your car’s atmosphere can influence your hearing aid’s functionality. Rely on your car’s climate control system to maintain a comfortable temperature rather than opening the windows. Your hearing aid can become less effective if it is buffeted by a draft from an open window, impairing your hearing and putting you at risk.
As long as your doctor approves there is no reason for hearing loss to keep you from driving. Stay safe out there!