According to the World Health Organization, over 5% of the world’s population lives with some form of severe hearing loss. It’s estimated that over 40% of people over 65 experience moderate to severe hearing problems. If you’re one of the millions of people affected globally by hearing impairment, you already know the long list of challenges you’re faced with in day to day life. If you don’t have the convenience of public transportation available to you, personal vehicles may be your only means of getting around. Non-hearing impaired individuals don’t consider there are extra risks involved and considerations that need to be made when driving with hearing loss. Whether you’re a seasoned driver or new behind the wheel, we’ve put together some tips to help you drive safely with hearing loss.
Tips on How to Drive Safely with Hearing Loss
When driving with any sort of impairment or disability, it’s necessary for us to take extra care to keep ourselves and other drivers safe on the road. Hearing impaired driver safety requires drivers to be more vigilant, more proactive, and requires drivers with hearing loss to take some extra steps to prevent accidents. Below are some great ways to protect hearing impaired drivers.
- EMS and other emergency vehicle sirens – One of the most pressing and worrisome concerns driving with hearing loss brings to mind, is being unable to hear when an emergency vehicle is coming up behind you. To help combat this worry, use your vision effectively. Try checking your mirrors often and keep yourself aware of your surroundings. If you’re traveling with a hearing person, ask them to assist.
- Communicate responsibly – If you rely on lip reading, install a lip reading mirror on your dash. This will allow you to keep your eyes forward but still see what your companion is saying. If signing is your main form of communication, ask that companions sign in front of you without blocking your line of vision. Keep your phone put away so you can stay attentive with eyes forward.
- Other driver responses – Hearing impaired driver safety is also affected in many situations by other drivers. If you are constantly aware of being an effective driver, stay vigilant, and focus on being a polite driver, this should mitigate other drivers honking at you.
- Getting pulled over – Being stopped by officials and fearing your ability to communicate can be stressful. Consider carrying hearing impaired driver cards to hand to an officer if need be.
- Reduce outside noise – Whether you’re severely hearing impaired or only slightly, keeping windows rolled up, stereos down, and requesting that your companions give you some quiet are great ways to help you hear important things like sirens.
- Hearing aids – If your level of hearing impairment allows for assistance from hearing aids, consider getting some and keeping them maintained. There are also alerting systems that can be installed to assist.
Driving with hearing loss can be daunting, but it’s not impossible! Just remember, hearing impaired driver safety falls on you. To help ensure all drivers, the hearing impaired and the hearing, stay safe and without accident or injury just requires a little more vigilance on the part of a hearing impaired driver. If you suspect that your hearing has changed at all, book in a hearing assessment with the hearing care professionals at Come Hear Greenville. Call us on (864) 546-5708 or click here to Request An Appointment now.
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