Navigating through the world with hearing loss can be difficult at times, especially when you need to rely on your hearing for health and safety. Driving is one area that can cause problems for many people affected by impaired hearing. However, having hearing loss does not mean you have to give up your keys. Follow some simple driving tips and you can drive perfectly safely.
- Keep up with car maintenance: Abnormal noises are a typical danger signal that something isn’t quite right with your car. 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 a car it’s best to stop. There are many alternatives to owning an automobile, including public transportation. 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.
- Eliminate distractions: Your eyesight becomes very important when driving a vehicle 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 use 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.
As long as your doctor approves there is no reason for hearing loss to keep you from driving. Stay safe and enjoy the open road.