We’ve all heard the expression “Keep your eyes on the road”, but it’s important to have the ability to hear what’s going on while driving as well. If you have untreated hearing loss, you may be risking your safety and the safety of others when you drive.
How Hearing Impacts Driving
Your ability to hear can help you detect many important sounds while driving including:
- Nearby emergency or police vehicles
- The horn of another driver trying to get your attention
- Whether or not your turn signal is on
- A rattling or ticking sound coming from your engine or a similar noise indicating car trouble
Not being able to detect these issues can impact your ability to drive.
The Foundation for Traffic Safety looked at data from 2,046 participants aged 65-79 to examine how hearing loss affects driving patterns. The study found that people with hearing loss were less likely to drive:
- At night
- In rush hour traffic
- On high-speed roads
This data suggests that hearing loss may lead to added difficulty while driving and a decrease in driving, overall.
Hearing Aids Can Help
If you are worried about hearing loss impacting your ability to drive, schedule an appointment for a hearing test. If hearing loss is found, your audiologist will likely recommend hearing aids.
Hearing aids can help you drive more safely by amplifying the sounds you need to hear while on the road. The sooner you get treatment the better your overall hearing ability will be.
Other Safety Tips
In addition to wearing hearing aids, other ways to stay safe on the road include:
- Minimizing background noise by keeping the music low and asking others to talk quietly while you drive.
- Take care of your hearing device so that you avoid issues like distorted, muffled sound or feedback while you are driving.
- Ensuring your hearing aid batteries are fresh or fully charged before hitting the road.
- Keep your car window closed to reduce distraction from outside noise.
- Stay focused on the road. This means no checking your phone or eating a snack or anything else that could distract you.
- Take public transportation if you feel unsafe. Indian River County’s GoLine public transit system can help get you to the grocery store or a doctor’s appointment if you do not feel comfortable driving yourself.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call Aaron's Hearing Aid & Audiology Center today.