Your Guide to Safe Driving With Hearing Loss

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

Hearing loss is a widespread challenge for older individuals, but does it warrant giving up driving? Driving habits differ amongst different individuals 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 needs to stop driving.

For individuals who commute frequently the question of whether hearing loss poses a threat while driving is a crucial consideration. Is your hearing loss making you a dangerous driver?

Think beyond driving…

If you are detecting hearing loss, it won’t have a significant impact on your driving ability…yet. That day is coming, though, if you choose to simply disregard your decline.

There is a solid connection between hearing health and brain health, as reported by Johns Hopkins Medicine. Battling to hear forces your brain to use valuable resources just to understand what individuals are saying. It is a contributing factor to brain atrophy, which results in dementia. A person suffering from dementia definitely can’t drive.

Should you drive with hearing loss?

Driving requires strong observational skills and some of that is auditory, but that doesn’t mean you can’t drive if you have hearing loss. The Center for Hearing and Communication reports that around 48 million Americans have significant hearing loss, and a good portion of them still drive.

Driving with hearing loss

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

Quit putting off

Visit us, get a hearing test, and think about how hearing aids can change things for you. Hearing aids can help remove the “should I be driving with hearing loss” question.

When you drive, be more aware

Even with hearing aids, you will still need to be a more aware driver to ensure you aren’t missing anything in or surrounding your vehicle.

Don’t let it get too loud in your car

This will allow you to focus your listening on driving without distractions. Turn the radio off and ask your passengers to keep the chatter to a minimum.

Keep an eye on your dash lights

When you drive with hearing loss, the little things can add up. You might not be capable of hearing that clicking sound that your turn signal makes, for example. You will have to rely on your eyes to compensate, so get in the habit of checking your dashboard to see what your car is trying to tell you.

Make maintenance a priority

Maybe your car is making a strange noise in the engine but you can’t hear it. Have your car serviced regularly so you can avoid this major safety hazard. For people with hearing loss, this is crucial, even more so than it would be for someone without 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. You may not hear emergency sirens, for example, so if the cars are pulling off to the side, you should as well. Use the behavior of other drivers to get some visual clues about traffic patterns around you.

So is it possible to safely drive when you have hearing loss? That’s up to you. It is possible to be a good driver even if your hearing isn’t what it once was because most likely your other senses will help you make the adjustment. If the idea makes you anxious, though, then it’s time to come see us and find a treatment to improve your situation, like wearing hearing aids.

Come in and let us help you improve your quality of life by exploring the hearing options that will be suitable for your distinctive hearing situation.


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.


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