How to Drive Safely When You’re Dealing With Hearing Loss

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

Hearing loss is a common challenge for older individuals, but does it merit giving up driving? Driving habits vary amongst different people so the response isn’t clear-cut.

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

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

Think beyond driving…

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

Johns Hopkins Medicine has found there is a definite link between hearing and brain health. The brain has to work extra hard fighting to hear, which causes it to have fewer resources for other day-to-day tasks. It has a detrimental impact on cognition and can contribute to the onset of dementia. Somebody suffering from dementia definitely can’t drive.

If you have hearing loss, can you still drive?

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

Tips for driving if you have hearing loss

You can still be a safe driver if you make some adjustments and use these tips.

Stop 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 remove the “should I be driving with hearing loss” question.

Be a more observant driver

You will still need to be observant about what’s happening around your vehicle even if you have hearing aids.

Don’t let it get too noisy in your car

This will help you be less distracted. Turn the radio off and ask your passengers to keep the chatter to a minimum.

Remember to check your dashboard often

When you drive with hearing loss, the little things can mount up. For example, you will no longer hear that clicking noise that tells you that your turn signal is on. So routinely check your dashboard because your eyes will have to pick up the slack.

Keep your vehicle well maintained

You might not hear that rattling noise under the hood anymore or the warning bell telling you there is an issue with your engine or another critical component. Get your car serviced routinely so you can prevent this major safety risk. That’s a good plan for most individuals but a necessity if you are driving with hearing loss.

Pay attention to other vehicles around you

Of course, you would do that anyway, but you want to watch for signs you might be missing something. If you see other cars pulling to the side of the road, you should do that as well because you might have missed the sirens. watch to see how other drivers are responding to their surroundings to get hints on what you may not be hearing.

Can you drive with hearing loss? It’s really a personal decision. It is possible to be a good driver even if your hearing isn’t what it once was because odds are your other senses will help you make the adjustment. But if you’re feeling worried about it, make an appointment to come see if we can help you improve your situation, possibly with hearing aids.

Come in and let us help you better your quality of life by investigating the hearing options that will be suited to your unique 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.