While the sense of sight is the most important aspect when driving, the sense of hearing is equally helpful. It helps you hear the raucous horn of an irritated driver, detect approaching emergency vehicles, or even remind you that your indicators are on. People with hearing loss do not drive any more dangerously than other drivers. However, it never hurts to take extra safety precautions when on the road. Keep these tips on how to drive safely with hearing loss in mind anytime you’re behind the wheel:
Due to technological advancements, today’s hearing aids are marvels. They feature sensitive microphones tailored to differentiate between background noises and speech. Even with hearing aids, it’s very important to avoid any form of distractions.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Reduce your car’s audio volume
- If you have passengers, ask them to keep their conversation to a minimum
- Always close your car window
- Avoid using your phone, drinking, eating
Use your vision (rely on visual clues)
Your sight should compensate for your reduced hearing ability. While good sight is essential for all drivers, it’s a must-have if you’re suffering from hearing loss.
Some of the things you can do to amplify your vision include:
- Always ensure your windows and windscreen are clean
- Buy an extended rear view mirror
- Keep your attention focused and eyes on the road
- Be on the lookout for flashing lights at railway crossings and on approaching vehicles
Have a set of hearing aids to improve your hearing performance
Another way of becoming a safer driver is by purchasing and using hearing aids. They make it effortless to focus on sounds (warning signals, sirens, and horns) which matter on the road.
Do you already own hearing aids? If yes, take these extra precautions when you’re driving:
- Have your hearing assessed frequently
- Always wear your hearing aids when driving
- Always have an additional set of batteries
Your car must be in top condition at all times
For drivers with hearing loss, keeping a car in optimum working condition is an absolute necessity. Strange car noises might occur unheard, which can turn out to be a safety hazard not only to you and your passengers, but to other drivers as well. Consequently, you must stay up to date when it comes to routine maintenance to ensure the vehicle is in top condition.
Whether you have hearing challenges or hear well, there’s no doubt that driving demands a lot of responsibility. Part of the responsibility is to take care of your safety and that of others on the road. The above are just some of the tips to help you drive safely with hearing loss.
How to drive safely with hearing loss – where to find out more
If you think your hearing needs to be assessed, do get in touch with us and we can arrange a thorough hearing check-up. We also now provide several brands of hearing aids that are rechargeable so if you’re travelling away from home you can take your charger with you and not have to rely on batteries.