Tips for Driving with Hearing Aids

Tips for Driving with Hearing Aids

When you get behind the wheel it’s important to stay alert. Even if you’ve driven the same road many times, you never know what could come your way! This is especially true as we get older, and our reaction times are a bit slower than they used to be. You may find it’s hard to read the road signs and you can benefit from glasses. Similarly, if your hearing doesn’t seem to be as crisp as it was in the past, it’s important to address the issue. 

One in three people over 65 have hearing loss meaning that if you are growing reaching this age bracket it’s important to check your hearing. The most common treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids. They will amplify the sounds you struggle to hear to help you keep alert on the road. But unlike with glasses, hearing aids don’t just start working immediately after putting them on for the first time. Here are a few tips to make it easier for you to stay alert behind the road with hearing aids.

Wear Your Glasses

All our sense contributes to us being more aware when we drive. If you wear glasses make sure you wear them. You need to be able to see clearly to drive safely. In addition to wearing effectively programed hearing aids, make sure your prescription is up to date. The sunrise and sunset are difficult time for many drivers as is the night, due to vison issues. Antiglare lanes and sunglasses will keep you from squinting if you don’t have another choice but it’s okay when possible, to plan to drive only at times of day where you feel safest. 

Give Yourself Extra Time

When you are in a rush is often when mistakes happen. Give yourself a little more time than you used to, to get places. This way if you make a wrong turn or get lost you won’t have to stress and worry about being late. Drive the speed limit and give yourself at least three car length distance between you and other cars on the road so you have plenty of time to brake if you unexpectedly need to. It might also be a good idea to avoid high-traffic areas. Instead opt for backroads and quieter streets.

Keep the Distracting Sounds to a Minimum

When driving with hearing aids you are going to want to make sure that you can hear everything as clear as possible. This means eliminating as many distracting sounds as possible. You may enjoy listening to the stereo while driving. It’s safer however to keep it turned off or at least turned down low. If you are driving with someone else, avoid conversations which can be distracting. While hearing aids can enhance hearing, they still take extra focus to work their best. Keep the windows rolled up if you can on a hot day a turn on the air conditioner instead so you can hear anything that may come your way.

Make Navigation Easy

A lot of us who have been driving the same area for years know the streets like the back of our hand. However, if you are directionally challenged or are driving in an area that is new it’s common to rely these days on GPS navigation equipped in many newer cars and on Smartphones. For hearing aid users, the voice of the robot navigator can be difficult to hear exactly when it’s time to take a turn. However, many hearing aids these days come equipped with wireless Bluetooth technology. Using radio waves, Bluetooth can stream audio from your smartphone or navigation system directly to your heading aids. This can eliminate distracting sounds, so you are ready for all the turns well before it’s time. 

It’s also important to avoid holding your smartphone in your hand or one your lap, causing you to look down or away from the road. Avoid potential accidents by investing in a mount for your smartphone or navigation device so it’s mounted in clear view while you drive.

Wear Your Hearing Aids

If you wear hearing aids it’s important to wear them whenever you get behind the wheel. If you suspect you have a hearing loss, then it’s important that you schedule a hearing exam as soon as possible. Help keep you and everyone else on the road safe with healthy hearing!