For those who are hard of hearing, safety precautions should be taken to ensure a safe driving experience for everyone on the road. Hearing impaired drivers aren’t any less safe than other drivers, but there are certain precautions that should be taken.
Since driving is mostly visual, focusing on seeing visual indicators while on the road is the most important precaution deaf or hard of hearing drivers should take. There are additional safety precautions to consider, such as removing distractions and keeping up with car maintenance. Below are five tips for drivers with hearing loss to be extra prepared while behind the wheel.
Driving Safety Precautions for the Hard of Hearing
1) Rely on Visual Cues
Driving with hearing loss means you might not be able to hear sirens clearly or quickly enough. It is paramount to pay attention to visual cues, such as flashing lights for emergency vehicles and police cars. Another important aspect of driving when hearing impaired is to make frequent use of mirrors when changing lanes or passing other cars. It’s prudent to get your eyes examined annually to adjust your prescription eyeglasses as needed.
2) Remove Distractions
Removing distractions is important for any driver, hearing impaired or not. However, there are other distractions hearing impaired drivers might experience, such as feedback from hearing aids. It is vital to care and maintain your hearing aid and its batteries regularly. Other tips to remove distractions to help you keep your focus solely on the road are: turning the volume down on the radio; keeping the car windows closed to eliminate road noise; and asking your passengers to keep their conversations to a low volume.
3) Check Signal Lights
Hearing impaired drivers may be unable to hear the clicking sound that alerts the driver that a turn signal is still on, even after turning. It could be a driving hazard to other drivers on the road if your signal indicator is still on even after turning. As a hearing impaired driver, be hypersensitive to checking the signal lights visually so as not to confuse your fellow drivers on the road.
4) Keep Your Car in Top Working Condition
Keeping up with car maintenance is important for every driver, but for drivers who are hard of hearing and living with hearing loss, it is an absolute necessity – because strange vehicle noises may occur unheard. If something is wrong with your car without any visual indication and it breaks down, that could be dangerous to yourself and a hazard to other drivers.
5) Get Regular Hearing Checkups, Use Assistive Aids, and Take Spare Batteries