Navigating through life with hearing loss can be difficult at times, especially when you need to depend on your hearing for safety. Driving a car is one situation that can cause problems for many people suffering from impaired hearing. However, having hearing problems does not mean you have to give up your car keys. Follow some simple driving tips and you can drive perfectly safely.
- Eliminate distractions: Your vision becomes very important when driving a car with hearing loss. Distractions that take your eyes off the road, such as food or electronic devices, can avert your eyes and put you and your passengers in danger. Similarly, listening to the radio can make it even more difficult to hear sirens, horns, and other important traffic cues. By cutting out these distractions while you’re behind the wheel you can make sure you’re taking in all the information you need.
- Drive with your hearing aid in mind: If you have a hearing aid make sure that you don’t drive without it. 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.
- Keep your car in good shape: Abnormal noises are a common warning sign that something isn’t quite right with your car. If you aren’t able to hear when something is wrong with your engine you run the risk of driving an unsafe vehicle. Keep regular maintenance appointments with your garage or dealership to make sure your car stays in optimum condition.
- Only drive when you feel comfortable: If you’re not comfortable driving with hearing loss, don’t do it! Take advantage of public transportation or other driving alternatives. You are more likely to make dangerous mistakes if you drive while stressed, so only drive when you feel confident and safe.
Hearing loss doesn’t have to keep you from driving if your doctor approves. Stay safe and enjoy the open road.