The open road can be a dangerous place. Anyone getting into a car and turning on the ignition has a tremendous responsibility. The life of the driver, passengers, pedestrians and other motorists is in many senses in a heightened state of vulnerability. Careful driving requires the engagement of visual and auditory senses to make informed decisions. Hearing loss can greatly impair an individual’s ability to hear important safety cues such as a horn honking, a siren, or another vehicle accelerating nearby. During the winter months, our awareness on the road needs to be at an all-time high. Get to your gatherings safe and sound to make your holiday stress-free.
Here are some tips for drivers with hearing loss:
– Using a cell phone while driving is definitely not recommended and is illegal in most states. According to the National Transpiration Safety Board, the use of any cell phone, including hands-free devices, causes a significant distraction. About 10% of all motor vehicle accidents are attributed to distracted drivers.
– Keep the radio volume to a minimum so you can hear traffic sounds.
– If having a conversation while driving distracts you, ask your passengers to talk to you unless necessary. You can’t read lips while driving!
– Make frequent use of all mirrors when changing lanes and passing because audible cues are not as easy for hearing impaired to pick up on.
– Check you turn signal indicator occasionally to make sure it’s not blinking needlessly. Turn signals are not designed for people with hearing loss and can be difficult to hear over the sound of traffic, engine noise, and the radio
If you feel as if you’re not hearing the sounds of the road, schedule a visit with an audiologist. Whether you are a hearing aid wearer or not, there is plenty you can do to keep yourself safe while getting from point A to point B.