Hearing loss can affect your life in many ways. One of the biggest impacts it can have is on your ability to drive safely.
For many older people, driving is one of the best ways to stay independent. However, if you suffer from hearing loss you could also be putting yourself or others unnecessarily at risk when driving. If you are new to hearing aids then congratulations on your steps to a new independent life! Hearing aids can take some time to get used but it’s important to keep them in when you drive. Here are some important tips that will keep you safe while driving with your new hearing aids.
Always Wear Your Hearing Aid While Driving
If you wear hearing aids make sure that you don’t get behind the wheel without them. 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 driving with the windows open. Your hearing aid can become less effective if it is inundated by the roar ft from an open window, impairing your hearing and putting you and everyone on the road at risk.
Drive Only When You Feel Safe
Only drive when you feel comfortable: If your hearing impairment makes you feel uncomfortable while driving it’s best to put down your keys. You are more likely to make dangerous mistakes if you drive while stressed, so only drive when you feel confident and safe. Adjust for your physical changes. If stiffness and pain trouble you and get in the way of driving safely, consult your doctor. Exercise will also help with stiffness as well as keeping your reflexes in order.
Keep it Quiet Inside the Vehicle
As someone who previously suffered from hearing loss know all too well that it’s much harder to hear in noise than in quiet. To keep your self safe on the road, make sure the inside of your car is as quiet as possible. Turn the radio off and avoid use of your cellphone. It’s fun to listen to your favorite music when you are driving but the music may block important traffic sounds, and slow your reaction time to things happening on the road. Don’t take risks like this when your and others safety is in question. It’s important to keep your attention focused outside the vehicle. If you’re driving with other passengers, limit conversations as much as possible, and ask them not to talk to unless it’s absolutely necessary. It is much more difficult to multitask while driving with hearing aids, and too much of your focus will be on the conversation and not on noticing the sounds outside of the vehicle.
Keep Up with Regular Vehicle Maintenance
Keep your car in good shape: Abnormal noises are a typical warning sign that something isn’t quite right with your vehicle. If you aren’t able to hear when something is wrong with your engine you run the risk of driving an unsafe vehicle. Make sure your brakes and turn signal are at their best. Stay up to date with routine maintenance to make sure your car is in proper condition.
Schedule Regular Hearing Tests
Hearing properly is critical to safe driving. We recommend you test your hearing every year to guarantee you’re hearing the traffic noises, horns, children playing, and warning sirens that happen on the road around you. We at Hearing Care Centers recommend that people with hearing aids take an annual hearing test to ensure that their hearing aids are functioning to their highest capacity.
Visit us at Hearing Care Centers
Hearing aids are important for driving, as they ensure that we are catching all of the sounds of the road. Driving requires effective observational skills and some of that relates to your auditory ability, but none of that means you can’t drive when there is hearing loss. According to the Center for Hearing and Communication about 48 million people in the U.S. have hearing loss and a generous segment of them do still drive. There is one study that found individuals driving with hearing loss are generally more visually aware of what’s going on and, typically, more careful than some drivers with healthy hearing.
Visit us at Hearing Care Centers to make sure your hearing aids are the best fit for you independent and mobile life.