Driving can be more challenging with a hearing loss; it requires more visual concentration and being aware of your surroundings. But there are some tips and techniques that make it easier.
Here are some tips that make it easier to drive safely with hearing loss:
Whether you suffer from hearing loss or not, being alert when behind the wheel of a vehicle is very important. We all know being on your phone while behind the wheel is dangerous but other distractions like eating or drinking can sometimes be just as dangerous. In addition to paying close attention to the road, you can ask your passengers to help you by alerting you to any sounds outside the car that can cause a problem. You should also be mindful of how other people are driving if you notice cars pulling over behind you check to see if an emergency vehicle is behind you and needs to get past.
Panoramic Views for Driving in Reverse
As we said, driving with hearing loss requires more visual concentration; many drivers with hearing loss rely on their sight. Seeing what is in front of you may be easy but it is a little bit more difficult to see what is behind and on either side of your vehicle. Using your side mirrors is very important to see behind and the surroundings of your car but you may also think about investing in a panoramic rear-view mirror that offers a much better field of vision than a standard rear-view mirror. Also many newer models of cars today have cameras that can sense and visually show you the surroundings of your car.
There are vehicle modifications that are in the works with major car companies like Hyundai. Hyundai is developing a heads up display (HUD) and vibrating steering wheel but those are still being perfecting and not ready to be released. However, there are still some modifications you can add to your car that will alert you to changes in driving conditions. The first is an alert that lets you know when your turn signal is still on. The second one lets you know when emergency sirens are going off nearby. These add-ons won’t with the factory setting in the car, so you’ll have to go to an aftermarket shop that will install these devices.
Using a hearing aid while driving is slightly different than wearing them for regular use. For example, it is best for you to have the windows rolled up and your music turned down or completely off. The sound of the air rushing through the windows, loud music, and trivial radio talk can compete with other, more important sounds that you need to be alert for in order to drive safely. Also, if you’re driving with passengers you may want to ask them for a bit of silence when you need to concentrate.
If you’re concerned about your ability to hear alerts on and off the road, we are here to help! At Hearing Aid Counselors, we are here to help you with your hearing needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient southern Idaho hearing center locations in Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, Hailey, or Burley.