Your Guide to Confident Driving With Hearing Loss

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

Lots of older individuals have hearing loss, but does that mean it’s dangerous for them to drive? Driving habits differ amongst different people so the response isn’t clear-cut.

While hearing loss is a factor to consider when driving a vehicle, a skilled driver remains capable even if they have to adjust the radio volume.

For people who commute frequently the question of whether hearing loss creates a threat while driving is a crucial consideration. Is your driving becoming unsafe because of hearing loss?

Think beyond driving…

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

There is a strong link between hearing health and brain health, as reported by Johns Hopkins Medicine. The brain has to work overtime fighting to hear, which causes it to have fewer resources for other everyday tasks. It has a detrimental impact on cognition and can contribute to the onset of dementia. Driving is definitely off the table for a person with dementia.

Should you drive if you have hearing loss?

You can still drive with hearing loss, but it should be mentioned that safe driving demands good observational skills including auditory awareness. Among the approximately 48 million Americans who have hearing loss, the majority of them still drive according to the Center for Hearing Communication.

Guidelines for driving if you have hearing loss

With some adjustments, you can still stay safe on the road. Here are some tips.

Stop putting off

Visit us, get a hearing test, and think about how hearing aids can change things for you. The question of whether you should be driving can be eliminated by using hearing aids.

When you drive, be more observant

Even if you have hearing aids, you will still need to be a more observant driver to make sure you’re not missing anything in or around your vehicle.

Keep the noise down inside your car

This will let you focus your listening on driving without distractions. Turn the radio off or down and ask your passengers to keep the chatter to a minimum.

Keep an eye on your dash lights

It’s the little things that will add up when you drive with hearing loss. For example, you won’t hear that clicking sound that tells you that your turn signal is blinking. You will have to rely on your eyes to compensate, so get in the habit of scanning your dashboard to see what your car is attempting to tell you.

Keep your vehicle well maintained

You might not hear that rattling noise under the hood anymore or the warning alarm alerting you to an issue with your engine or another essential component. Get your car serviced routinely so you can prevent this major safety hazard. That’s a good plan for most people but a necessity if you are driving with hearing loss.

Pay attention to other vehicles around you

Obviously, you would do that anyway, but you want to watch for signs you may be missing something. If you see other cars pulling to the side of the road, you should do that too because you may have missed the sirens. Use the actions of other drivers to get some visual hints about traffic patterns around you.

So is it possible to safely drive with hearing loss? That’s up to you. Your other senses will normally adjust to help keep you safe, which means it is feasible to drive safely even if your hearing is beginning to go. If the idea makes you nervous, though, then it’s time to come see us and find a solution to improve your situation, like using hearing aids.

Come in and let us help you better your quality of life by looking at the hearing solutions that will be appropriate for 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.