Hearing loss makes it hard to hear conversations. But that’s not all. Hearing loss can also affect your safety, and the safety of everyone around you. Do you drive regularly? Hearing helps you drive safely. If you have hearing loss, there are a few tips for driving with hearing aids that will keep you safe on the road.
Do you wear glasses? One of our most important tips for driving with hearing aids is to always wear your glasses! If you have difficulty hearing, make sure you can see clearly. Doctors recommend getting yearly vision exams to make sure your prescription lenses are always up-to-date.
When you’re behind the wheel, your vision will help you see street signs, follow the rules of the road, and keep track of where all the other vehicles are. You’ll be able to monitor your driving speed, watch for any warning lights on your dash, and easily spot any flashing lights from emergency vehicles.
Beat the Glare
Driving on a bright sunny day or during sunset can reduce visibility. If the sun is shining in your eyes, it’s much harder to see everything that’s happening around your vehicle. We recommend getting prescription sunglasses if you’re driving with hearing aids. Wearing sunglasses while driving can increase visibility, reduce eye strain, and keep you safe on the road.
Stick to Daytime Driving
Does your hearing loss make it harder to hear the sounds in your environment? Our next tip for driving with hearing aids is to avoid driving at night. When you drive during the daytime, your eyes can help you catch things your ears might miss. Driving in the daytime increases your visibility and keeps you safe when driving with hearing loss.
Give Yourself More Time
Leave yourself plenty of time to reach your destination so you don’t feel rushed. When you’re more relaxed you’ll be a safer driver. It’s also a good idea to avoid highway driving, and take quieter streets when possible. You’ll be able to drive a bit slower and have more time to react to any changes in the traffic around you.
Get Larger Mirrors
It’s easy to add larger side and rear-view mirrors to your car. This can increase your visibility and make it easier to keep track of all the traffic around you. This helps you keep your eyes and ears peeled so you’ll catch any changes in traffic or road conditions.
Regular Vehicle Maintenance
If you’re driving with hearing aids, we recommend getting regular vehicle maintenance. Your ears often pick up on problems you can’t see, such as the soft rattling from the engine, warning you that something isn’t quite right. If you’re driving with hearing aids, take your vehicle to a trusted mechanic every few months to make sure your car is in tip top shape.
Ask Your Doctor About Your Medications
Are you taking several medications? If you’re getting behind the wheel every day, make sure you ask your doctor about your medications. Find out if there are any interactions or side-effects that could make you drowsy. Medications can sometimes lead to dizziness or lightheadedness. Make sure your medications won’t affect your safety behind the wheel. You may be able to adjust the dosage of your medications, or take them at a different time of day to keep you alert when driving.
Limit Conversations in the Car
If you’re giving a friend a ride, we recommend saving your conversation until you reach your destination. When driving with hearing aids, distractions inside the car, like conversations or the radio, will make it harder to hear sounds from outside the vehicle. Keep the interior of your car as quiet as possible, so you can focus on sounds from the road.
Annual Hearing Tests
Anyone driving with hearing aids should get a hearing test every year. That’s because your hearing abilities can change over time, and your hearing aids may need to be recalibrated to match your hearing needs. A few adjustments can help you hear clearly, increasing your awareness of all the sounds around you. Programs and settings designed for driving will also make it easy for you to hear and localize sounds. Follow these tips to keep you and your loved ones safe when driving with hearing aids.