People rely on their ability to hear in a number of situations, making it difficult to carry out some common tasks if your hearing is impaired. Driving is one situation that can cause difficulties for many people affected by impaired hearing. However, having hearing problems doesn’t imply you have to throw away your keys. Keep these safe driving tips in mind the next time you get behind the wheel.
- Keep your car in good shape: Strange noises are a typical warning sign that something is not 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. Stay up to date with routine maintenance to make sure your car is in proper condition.
- Only drive when you feel comfortable: If you are not at ease driving with hearing loss, don’t do it! 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.
- Reduce distractions: In case your hearing isn’t great you will have to rely on other senses, such as vision. 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.
- Be mindful of your hearing aid: If your hearing is assisted by a hearing aid, be sure to put it on any time you drive a car. 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.