Image of Woman driving with hearing aids.Although driving with hearing loss can pose challenges, there are a number of techniques you can utilize to ensure the safety of you, your passengers and other motorists.

Individuals who suspect they may have hearing loss should schedule a hearing evaluation with an audiologist as a form of preventative hearing care. Universal Hearing Care in Tarzana, California offers the following tips for driving better with hearing loss:

In Case Of Emergency

A common concern for drivers with hearing loss is that they will not be able to hear the sirens of emergency vehicles, signaling the need for them to pull over. While a valid point, drivers should be constantly assessing their surroundings with their eyes as well. Keep your eyes on the road, frequently checking your rearview mirror and side mirrors to keep aware of what is going on around your vehicle. Ask hearing passengers to keep an ear out for sirens.

Defensive Driving

Another worry for drivers with hearing loss is that they won’t be able to hear other drivers honking. Most honks are not caused by emergency situations, but rather by drivers who are annoyed or simply impatient. If you’re driving mindfully and defensively, this will significantly reduce the number of honks drivers will use because of your actions. Motorists trying to warn you of something may also flash their headlights.

Communicating With Passengers

With their eyes concentrating on the road, it can be especially difficult for drivers with hearing loss to communicate with passengers sitting next to or behind them in a vehicle. Lip-reading while driving is not only difficult, it’s dangerous. Technology such as a remote microphone can make driving communication easier, as passengers speak directly into the accessory, which transmits their voice directly to your hearing aids. While it may be an inconvenience to not be able to communicate effectively in the car, it’s more important to keep everyone safe – pull over to a safe spot if communication is vital.

Be Prepared To Be Pulled Over

If you would happen to be pulled over by a police officer for a traffic violation, it’s important to stay calm. Stop in a well-lit area so the two of you can see each other properly. Open your window slightly, asking the officer for identification. After seeing ID, explain you have hearing loss. It’s a good idea to have a “deaf visor card” so the officer quickly understands that you may have difficulty understanding each other.

For more information on Universal Hearing Care’s services, call us at 818-345-3200.