Although driving is certainly a visual activity, operating a vehicle with hearing loss reveals just how much we depend on our ears to navigate the open road.
We rely on our hearing to hear the siren of an emergency vehicle that may still be a block or two away or realize an impatient driver thinks we should be moving more quickly. Hearing Associates in Mason City, Iowa reminds you that hearing aids can significantly improve the driving experience for drivers with hearing loss.
In addition to hearing devices, we offer the following tips for safely driving in the presence of hearing loss:
- Limit other auditory distractions: Your stereo may crank up to 11, but keep it at a low volume to help you hear sounds of the road. The less mental energy you use for the radio, the more you’ll have for those sirens and horns. Likewise, ask passengers to keep the conversation light so you can better focus.
- Close the windows: Although it may seem counterintuitive to close them, open windows subject you to significant road noise – which doesn’t do much to help you drive safely. Today’s vehicle cabins are designed to be quiet spaces, helping you focus on the road and hear those occasional traffic sounds you need to hear.
- Look, mom, no hands: While it’s best to refrain from using the phone while driving, if you have to take a call, use the hands-free Bluetooth option on your hearing aids. An audiologist can help you select the right hearing aid for you.
- Be prepared for being pulled over: It’s bound to happen at some point, so being prepared for can help communicating with hearing loss go more smoothly. Inform the officer immediately that you have hearing loss. It may be beneficial to have a “deaf visor card” to help bridge the communication gap.
- Get your hearing checked: It’s important to get your hearing examined regularly as part of your overall health maintenance.
If your hearing loss is affecting your ability to drive safely or other aspects of life, call us at 888.760.2032 or request an appointment today at Hearing Associates.