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Utah: 435-688-8991 Nevada: 702-896-0031

​How Hearing Loss Can Affect Driving​

​How Hearing Loss Can Affect Driving​

Most people would not dream of driving without something to correct their vision impairment. But safe driving is not only dependent on being able to see clearly.

Below are some things to consider the next time you think about driving without your hearing aids.

Reacting Appropriately To Loud Sounds

It would take a profound amount of hearing loss to keep you from hearing the sirens from an emergency response vehicle. But just because you can eventually hear loud sounds when driving doesn’t mean you are good to jump in your car and hit the road.

  • Response time – When dealing with hearing loss, you may not respond in a timely manner to loud sounds while driving. If you have mild-to-moderate hearing loss, you will likely hear sounds like sirens, horns, and squealing brakes. But you may not hear them until you are too close to danger. If you cannot hear and react in a timely manner, you are more liable to be involved in an accident.
  • Confused directionality – Hearing impairment can impede our ability to identify where sounds are coming from. When driving, you cannot always wait to see where the source of a sound is coming from before you act.

If you have profound hearing loss, you should not be driving without visiting your audiologist. The audiologist can help identify what has caused the loss and help you obtain devices to help restore enough hearing for safe driving.

Identifying And Responding To Subtle Sound Cues

Tucked inside of an insulated car, it is already difficult to hear subtle sounds. Quieter sounds like bicycle bells, children’s voices, and your own vehicle’s warning sounds can be missed when you have hearing loss. If you are concerned that you may be missing some of these softer sounds, check to see if you are hearing your own car’s sounds, such as:

  • Turn signal
  • Engine sounds
  • Music under 85 decibels

You can download a free app to check your music’s decibels. As car stereo outputs vary widely, it is best to check by decibel level.

Sound Effects Daily Living

Clearly, hearing loss can affect our ability to drive as surely as vision impairment can. However, while hearing loss can affect all aspect of your life, from athletics to driving, it does not have to hold you back. Be sure to work with your audiologist and allow them to help you enjoy life to the fullest.

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