Navigating through the world with hearing problems can be difficult at times, particularly when you need to depend on your hearing for safety. Many people with hearing problems find that driving can become an issue. However, having hearing loss doesn’t imply you have to discard your keys. Keep these safe driving tips in mind the next time you get behind the wheel.
- Reduce distractions: If your hearing isn’t great you will have to rely on your other senses, such as eyesight. 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. 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.
- Drive with your hearing aid in mind: If your hearing is assisted by a hearing aid, be sure to put it on any time you drive a car. Be mindful of how your car’s atmosphere can influence your hearing aid’s functionality. 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 up with car maintenance: You know that if your motor is generating a strange sound there is probably 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.
- Don’t drive if you are not comfortable: If you’re not comfortable driving a car with hearing loss, the don’t! 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.
As long as your doctor approves there is no reason for hearing loss to keep you from driving. Stay safe out there!