Hearing Aid And Audiology. Handicap And Disability Aid

Tips for Driving with Hearing Aids

A driver’s license in the United States is synonymous with independence. Most of the country, aside from some urban areas, is built around the need to use cars to go shopping, get to doctors’ appointments, go on adventures and just about anything else out of the house. For people with hearing loss, when unaddressed it can become a real safety hazard just about everywhere you go, including when you get behind the wheel.

Hearing not only helps us communicate—it helps us stay connected to the world around us and react to things in a timely manner. Reaction time is essential in preventing accidents for everyone on the road. Remember, that driving is a team sport which means to play it right, safety has to be a concern every time we get into our car and hit the road. This means if you have hearing loss and use hearing aids, it’s important to wear them every time you get in the car—however, even then, it can take some extra tips to truly stay safe when we drive with hearing aids.

Staying Safe Behind the Wheel

Car accidents in the U.S. reach more than 6 million annually, and the average number of motor vehicle crash deaths is 10 per 100,000 persons per year! This means it’s important to take road safety seriously. Making sure your prescription eyeglasses are up to date is important to be sure to see everything on the road as clearly as possible. Similarly if you have hearing loss, it’s important to diagnose it and seek treatment in the form of hearing aids. These tiny digital devices amplify the sounds you struggle with so you can be sure to be alert to any sound that comes your way. It’s critical that you are aware of all auditory safety clues available including honking horns, blaring sirens, and vehicle acceleration. 

Stay vigilant of your surroundings

Hearing loss affects the ability to identify the relative distance of moving vehicles, so it is essential to be aware of your environment to protect yourself and other drivers. When you get behind the wheel, be prepared to react to anything at any time. In addition to wearing your eyeglass prescription, never get behind the wheel without wearing your hearing aids. Make sure they are charged up, so you can be ready for just about anything.

Lower the number of distractions

There are so many things which can distract you on the road. Today cars are interfaced with your smartphone and while this can offer a lot of convenience it also increases the amount of distractions. Make sure that the radio is turned down low or off completely so you can be more alert of sounds around you. Listening to music can often obscure other important warning sounds leading to a devastating or deadly accident.

Avoid the phone: In addition, make sure not to be speaking on the phone even if it’s hands free. The more you can focus on the road instead of a conversation, the more likely you will be able to react to sudden changes on the road.

Traveling with passengers: If you travel with noisy passengers, you might want to ask them to keep down their voices. Just like a conversation on the phone, a lively conversation with other passengers can distract you from the drive. Meanwhile chatter in the front or back seat can increase the number of distractions. Because your ability to hear is already slightly compromised, even with hearing aids, it’s important to ask everyone in the car to keep their conversations quiet as possible or wait till after you’ve all arrived safely at your destination.

Keep the windows rolled up: Sometimes opening the windows at high speeds can be too much for your hearing aids. Especially when going high speeds on country roads or highways you may opt for the air conditioning on hot days over the windows so you have less interference with your hearing aids and the wind.

Keep a card visor in your car

Even the best drivers are prone to make mistakes every now and then. In the case that you do get pulled over, it’s important to have a card in your visor which you can show the officer to let them know that you have hearing loss. This means that they will know that you may have issues following their auditory directions and to make accommodations rather than escalating a situation because they misunderstand your hearing loss for not listening to their commands.

Treating Hearing Loss

Protect you and everyone else on the road by addressing a hearing loss right away. Don’t wait another day to schedule a hearing exam with us today. Your life just may depend on it!