Your Guide to Confident Driving With Hearing Loss

Older man behind the wheel of his car excited to drive since he solved his hearing loss.

Many older individuals have hearing loss, but does that mean it’s hazardous for them to drive? Driving habits differ amongst different people so the response isn’t straightforward.

Even if some adjustments have to be made to the volume of the radio, hearing loss shouldn’t mean a seasoned driver has to stop driving.

Whether hearing loss poses a risk while driving is a critical consideration for individuals planning daily commutes or winter road trips. Is your hearing loss making you a hazardous driver?

Think beyond driving…

Early stage hearing loss most likely won’t negatively effect your driving, but if it’s neglected, driving will become increasingly unsafe.

Johns Hopkins Medicine reports there is a definite connection between hearing and brain health. Battling to hear forces your brain to use valuable resources just to understand what people are saying. It has a detrimental impact on cognition and can play a role in the onset of dementia. Driving is certainly out of the question for somebody who has dementia.

Should you drive with hearing loss?

You can still drive with hearing loss, but it should be noted that safe driving demands strong observational skills and this includes auditory awareness. The Center for Hearing and Communication reports that about 48 million Americans have substantial hearing loss, and a good portion of them still drive.

Driving with hearing loss

With a few adjustments, you can still stay safe on the road. Here are some tips.

Quit putting off

Come in to see us for a hearing exam and find out if hearing aids will help your condition. Hearing aids can help get rid of the “should I be driving with hearing loss” question.

Be a more aware driver

You will still need to be aware of what’s going on around your vehicle even if you use hearing aids.

Don’t let it get too loud in your car

This will let you focus your listening on driving without distractions. Turn the radio off or down and ask your passengers to keep the chit-chat to a minimum.

Remember to look at your dashboard frequently

It’s the little things that will add up when you drive with hearing loss. You may not be able to hear that clicking sound that your turn signal makes, for example. You will have to rely on your eyes to pick up the slack, so get used to checking your dashboard to see what your car is trying to tell you.

Make maintenance a priority

You might not hear that rattling noise under the hood anymore or the warning bell alerting you to a problem with your engine or another critical component. Get your car serviced regularly so you can prevent this major safety hazard. That’s a good plan for most people but a necessity if you are driving with hearing loss.

Pay close attention to other vehicles around you

This is a no-brainer for everybody but if you have hearing loss it’s even more poignant. If you see other cars pulling off the road, you should do that too because you might have missed the sirens. Use the actions of other drivers to get some visual clues about traffic patterns around you.

So is it possible to safely drive with hearing loss? It’s really a personal choice. Your other senses will normally adjust to help keep you safe, which means it is feasible to drive safely even if your hearing is beginning to go. But if you’re feeling concerned about it, make an appointment to come see if we can help you better your situation, possibly by using hearing aids.

Give us a call today to schedule your hearing test and explore hearing aid solutions for your distinctive lifestyle.


The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.