Hearing loss doesn’t automatically disqualify you from being able to legally drive. In most cases, it just means taking extra caution to keep yourself and others on the road safe. Some sounds such as the jingle of a bike crossing the road or the whistle of a traffic officer might be difficult for you to notice.
Hearing Care Is The First Preventive Measure
Have your hearing loss properly assessed before proceeding with getting a license or, if you already have one, driving again. This is for those who haven’t had their first hearing consultation or it’s been a significant amount of time since the last. Ensuring you’re fitted with the right hearing aids while driving enables you to hear the necessary sounds for proper judgment in maneuvering the car.
Turn Down The Volume
Keep music volume to a minimum. We all love to have our favorite playlists while driving our cars to work. Or staying tuned to the radio for that element of surprise when a certain song sends a sudden flood of nostalgia with the first notes. However, when your hearing is not in the best shape, keep the volume low so no other frequencies interfere while you’re on the road. This is the first step to safety.
Stay Focused On The Road
With or without a hearing problem, it’s essential to pay attention to your surroundings as you drive. Your eyes should be looking ahead with keen attention to any shifts in your peripheral vision. Traffic signals, pedestrians starting to cross the road, other drivers trying to cut you off – there are several unpredictable movements that can happen on the street. For things you can’t see, sounds in the environment will alert you to an occurence. Your hands should always be free of other things so you can keep them on the steering wheel and shift stick.
Watch Out For Signs Of Changes
Car horns are a sure sign of another driver trying to catch your attention. That’s what they were made for. Reasons could vary. Maybe you didn’t notice the light turn green and the driver behind you was waiting for you to move. Listen for sounds of speeding cars and determine which direction they’re coming from and steer clear of their way. The driver could be intoxicated and not able to turn to avoid you in time, even if it’s broad daylight. An ambulance would need you to move your vehicle aside for a medical emergency. They alert using bright red-and-blue flashing lights and a distinct loud sound that children love to mimic.
This also means your mind should be free of distractions and other concerns. Keep your phone on silent or pull over to answer a call or text. Modern society understands the risks in driving and using a phone so it’s socially acceptable for a delayed response because you were driving. If you’re prone to daydreaming and worry, practice mental discipline before deciding to learn to drive.
Hearing is an essential ability to travel through the world more safely as many sounds give clues to your surroundings and what you should expect. Treating your ears isn’t just for you but a contribution to the safety of the rest of the community. For more tips and information, call Beltone DFW at (888) 958-8432.