Navigating through life with hearing loss can be difficult at times, particularly when you need to rely on your hearing for safety. Driving is one situation that can cause difficulties for many people suffering from impaired hearing. Luckily, just because you have problems with hearing does not mean that safe driving isn’t possible. Keep these safe driving tips in mind the next time you get behind the wheel.
- Reduce distractions: Your eyesight is extremely important when driving 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. Similarly, listening to the radio can make it even more difficult to hear sirens, horns, and other important traffic cues. Get rid of any influences that get between you and the road to make sure you aren’t missing crucial information.
- Drive with your hearing aid in mind: If you have a hearing aid be sure you don’t drive without it. It’s also important to make sure your car’s environment is conducive to proper hearing aid functioning. Don’t be afraid to switch on the AC rather than driving with the windows open. 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: Unusual noises are a common danger signal that something is not quite right with your automobile. 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 your hearing impairment makes you feel uneasy while driving a car it’s advisable to stop. 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 out there!