Navigating through the world with hearing loss can be challenging at times, particularly when you need to depend on your hearing for health and safety. Many people with hearing problems find that driving a vehicle can become an issue. Thankfully, just because you have difficulty hearing doesn’t mean that safe driving is out of the question. Keep these safe driving tips in mind the next time you get behind the wheel.
- Eliminate distractions: Your eyesight is very important when driving a car with hearing problems. 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 you have a hearing aid make sure that you don’t drive without it. It’s also important to make sure your car’s environment is conducive to proper hearing aid functioning. 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 up with car maintenance: If your vehicle is generating a strange sound there is most likely something wrong 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. 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 your hearing impairment makes you feel uneasy while driving it’s advisable to stop. 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.
As long as your doctor approves there is no reason for hearing loss to keep you from driving. Stay safe out there!