It is difficult for any of us to drive. These days traffic is heavy, cars go fast and often drivers are rude. Consider a person who has a hearing loss. Their problems are multiplied.
If you have a hearing loss and you have a hearing aid then part of your problem is solved. However your entire problem is not solved. Even hearing aids cannot compensate for direction and distance on a crowded highway. Here are tactics that you can use to try and minimize problems that you could encounter:
First of all it does not make sense to have the radio loud. Any noise that is extensive drowns out those things that we may need to hear such as sirens. In conjunction with the car radio you might consider having the “white noise” of the air conditioner or heater fan at a lower level.
Keeping conversation at a minimum is good for a number of reasons. The first is general concentration. The second is always the possibilities of emotional outburst whether it is laughter or anger. Also, conversations sometimes invite “back seat driving” as well as discussions about other drivers.
All of this plays in a role in failing to hear an approaching car from the wrong direction. Further, if your radio or air conditioner is on high you may not be able to hear a siren’s specific oncoming direction. It would be best to pull over even if you do not know where it is coming from.
It almost goes without saying that cell phone use is dangerous. It has already been banned in some states because it is so dangerous. Other states are preparing to ban its use. In my opinion cell phones should be banned in all states. A large number of traffic deaths can be attributed to cell phone usage.
If you are driving and you have hearing problems you should always check your turn signals because you cannot always hear their clicking in the event you have left them on.
I was always taught to use “defensive driving.” Defensive driving simply means presuming that other drivers are going to do the unexpected. That means expect a driver to run a stop sign or stop suddenly or pull in front of you.
When your hearing is not as good as other people you have to compensate and some of these ideas are easy to employ to maintain a “safe driving strategy.”
“Driving Tips,” Article, “Hearing Health Care News,” Peoria Ear, Nose & Throat, Spring 2009