Advice for Driving With Hearing Loss

Health & Medical Blog

Hearing impairment doesn't necessarily make you a bad driver. However, you do need to be aware of the effect your impaired hearing can have on your safety and the safety of other road users when you get behind the wheel. Here are three precautions to ensure your hearing impairment doesn't interfere with your safety on the road:

Turn Down the Stereo Volume

Reducing your stereo's volume will help you to focus on external sources of sounds, such as other cars' engines, which is what you need to do whenever you are behind the wheel. Loud car music even distracts those with perfect hearing; it can be worse for you. You need to be able to hear when a car's engine revs behind you, when an emergency vehicle is approaching or when a driver honks their horn. Reducing the level of noises in your car will help you to do just that.

Engage Your Vision

Safe driving takes more than perfect hearing; you also need to engage other senses, with the main one being your vision. Since you are already dealing with hearing impairment, you need to make perfect use of your sense of vision. This means you should check your side mirrors regularly, pay close attention to pedestrians and watch out for street lights and all other road users. Don't take your eyes off the road to read texts and newspapers; find a safe spot and park if you need to do any of those things.

Invest in a Full-View Mirror

Since you may not hear sounds from the back of the car, it's advisable to invest in a system that lets you see all that goes on behind the car. A full-view mirror (extended rear view mirror) will help you to do just that. Such mirrors are useful at all times, but they can be lifesaving when you are changing lanes. There is no blind spot with this mirror.

The above precautions are useful for keeping you safe on the road, but they won't solve your hearing impairment problem. Therefore, if you haven't had professional diagnosis or hearing aid assessment for your hearing impairment, take the earliest opportunity possible to do so. Some forms of hearing impairment are treatable; if that's the case with your situation, getting treated will solve your difficulty of driving with hearing impairment. At the very least (even if your impairment doesn't go away), your audiologist will help you get the best hearing aid for your situation. 


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