People depend on their hearing in a number of situations, making it difficult to carry out some common tasks if your hearing is damaged. Driving a vehicle is one situation that can cause difficulties for many people suffering from impaired hearing. Fortunately, just because you have difficulty hearing doesn’t mean that safe driving isn’t possible. Follow some simple driving tips and you can drive perfectly safely.
Reduce distractions: Your eyesight becomes 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. 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 your hearing is assisted by a hearing aid, be sure to put it on any time you get behind the wheel. 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 your car in good shape: If your motor is generating a peculiar sound there is most likely a problem with it. If you aren’t able to hear when something is wrong with your engine you run the risk of driving an unsafe vehicle. Stay up to date with routine maintenance to make sure your car is in proper condition.
Only drive when you feel comfortable: If your hearing loss makes you feel uncomfortable while driving a car it’s advisable to avoid 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 out there!