Driving tips …if you suffer from hearing loss….

October 3, 2017 by Raji Parangad

Have you given it any thought if your hearing loss affect your ability to drive safely? Hearing loss, while often inconvenient and frustrating, can also be quite risky when you are behind the wheel of a car. You may be unable to hear someone honking or yelling at you to possibly get out of the way of danger. The sound cues we normally rely on while driving, such as horn honking or the ringing of a bicycle bell, become a lot harder to detect with hearing loss and they could even go unnoticed. We want to share some things that can help you to navigate the road safely if you’re hard of hearing.

Get your hearing treated. This is the best way to help you drive safely. If you haven’t had your hearing checked get an audiogram, and if you  need hearing aids, this will greatly increase your hearing and safety on the road.Not only can hearing aids amplify the important sounds you hear on the road, they can also keep your auditory system healthy so your brain doesn’t forget how to interpret other sounds in your environment. If you already wear hearing aids, make sure you always wear them while operating a vehicle and continue to get regular hearing aid checkups.Today’s hearing aids are technological marvels, with sensitive microphones designed to discriminate between speech and background noises.

Avoid distractions. Do not try to multitask while on the road. Put down the phone! It’s a widely known fact that texting and driving can lead to accidents, and trying to talk on the phone can be extremely distracting because you’re busy straining to hear what the person on the phone is saying. If you’re in a situation where you need to call someone or address a situation, pull over and deal with it before attempting to do so while driving. Ask passengers to keep the conversation quiet and to a minimum. While it’s always fun to be part of the conversation, participating in any activity other than driving means your attention isn’t fully focused on the road. Keep the car window closed to minimise road noise. Today’s vehicles are built to reduce road noise, which is good news for those with hearing loss. Anytime you can reduce the variety of noises competing for your attention, the better you’ll be able to hear the ones you need to.

Keep the music down. Not only does loud music damage your hearing, but it’s also a big distraction that makes it impossible to hear sound cues from the outside environment. Loud music can cause you to miss ambulance or police car sirens that are near by. These are noises you do not want to miss in case you need to move your car out of the way.

Pay attention visually. It’s always important to keep your eyes on the road, but if you suffer from hearing loss, it’s extra important because you need to use visual cues to make sense of your external environment. Pay close attention to traffic signals and always use your rear view mirror. Hearing loss makes it harder to pinpoint the relative distance of moving vehicles, so using your eyes carefully is important for protecting yourself and those around you. Consider investing in a larger rear view mirror.

If you believe you’re suffering from hearing loss please call ‘My Audiologist’ located in Wellington Point QLD at 07 34465845 to schedule an appointment today.

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