You depend on your ability to hear more than you may realize. Even though seeing is one of the most significant senses needed in order to drive, the ability to hear allows you to identify oncoming emergency vehicles or an irritated driver. There are no significant issues linked to hearing and your ability to drive, but it’s always a good idea to take some safety measures.
Get treatment for your hearing loss from a healthcare professional
Go see a hearing healthcare professional for an evaluation, if you can no longer hear as well as you used to. Your hearing loss may be due a bad cold or a blockage in your ear that may be removed. But if you are diagnosed with a hearing impairment, it would be wise to follow your healthcare practitioner’s advice on how it should be treated.
Hearing aids may be recommended for you, particularly if you have developed sensorineural hearing loss, which includes age-related hearing loss. In addition to intensifying key sounds that are heard while on the road, hearing aids preserve a healthy auditory system so that your brain can remember how to decipher sounds from your surrounding environment.
Driving with hearing loss
It is important to manage your hearing loss by diminishing any possible distractions while driving.
Modern hearing aids have complex microphones that are intended to distinguish the difference between verbal communication and background noises. Even if you wear hearing aids while you drive, it is important to reduce anything that would divert your attention from driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that in 2016, approximately 3,500 people’s lives have be claimed due to distracted driving. In 2015, over 390,000 people had been injured due to distracted driving.
Here are 7 tips to keep your distractions at a minimum:
If a law enforcement officer signals for you to pull over, courteously notify them immediately that you have hearing loss and wear hearing aids. This will help them be more efficient in the way that they communicate with you.
Use Visual Cues
After your hearing distractions are taken care of, you will have a better ability to concentrate on information that your ears are gathering.
Just like with hearing, your eyes should be examined each year. You should wear prescription eyeglasses while driving, for your safety and for the safety of others on the road.
Think about getting a larger rear view mirror. It can help you reduce the need to turn around and look over your shoulder.
In some states, like New York, drivers who wear hearing aids or cannot pass their hearing test, must use a full-view rear-view mirror. To find out if this same law applies in your home state, check with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Be aware of flashing lights from oncoming vehicles and at railroad crossings. If you are in the city, use the windows on buildings and other mirrored surfaces to warn you about approaching emergency vehicles. Frequently (and safely) look in your rearview mirror for possible oncoming vehicles.
Whether you suffer from hearing loss, or not, it is always important to drive responsibly. Any improvement in driving proficiently, helps to reduce your risk of getting into a car collision, and helps make the roads safer.
If you, or a loved one, are a driver with hearing loss, please contact one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids and discuss the best options for you to continue driving safely.