How to Drive Safely When You Have Hearing Loss

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

Hearing loss is a common challenge for older individuals, but does it merit quitting driving? The response isn’t straightforward, as driving habits vary among individuals.

Even if some adjustments have to be made to the volume of the radio, hearing loss shouldn’t mean a skilled driver needs to stop driving.

For individuals who commute on a regular basis the question of whether hearing loss poses a threat while driving is a crucial consideration. Is your driving becoming dangerous because of hearing loss?

Think beyond driving…

If you are noticing hearing loss, it won’t have a substantial impact on your ability to drive…yet. That day is coming, though, if you choose to simply disregard your decline.

Johns Hopkins Medicine reports there is a distinct link between hearing and brain health. The brain has to work extra hard struggling to hear, which causes it to have fewer resources for other day-to-day tasks. It has a negative impact on cognition and can play a role in the onset of dementia. An individual suffering from dementia definitely can’t drive.

If you have hearing loss, can you still drive?

You can still drive with hearing loss, but it should be mentioned that safe driving demands good observational skills and this includes auditory awareness. Among the approximately 48 million Americans who have hearing loss, most of them still drive as reported by the Center for Hearing Communication.

Driving with hearing loss

With a few adjustments, you can still remain safe on the road. Here are some tips.

Stop procrastinating

Come in to see us for a hearing exam and find out if hearing aids will help your condition. 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 aware driver to ensure you’re not missing anything in or surrounding your vehicle.

Don’t let it get too loud in your car

This will help you be less distracted. Ask your passengers to talk more quietly and keep the radio down or off.

Learn to check your dashboard frequently

It’s the little things that will mount up when you drive with hearing loss. You may not be able to hear that clicking noise that your turn signal makes, for example. So regularly look at your dashboard because your eyes will have to pick up the slack.

Keep your vehicle well maintained

Perhaps your car is making a strange noise in the engine but you are unable to hear it. That is a major safety risk, so make a point of getting your car serviced routinely. For individuals with hearing loss, this is important, even more so than it would be for somebody without hearing loss.

Pay close attention to other vehicles around you

This is a no-brainer for everybody but if you have hearing loss it’s even more poignant. You might not hear emergency sirens, for instance, so if the cars are pulling over to the side, you should too. Use the actions of other drivers to get some visual hints about traffic patterns around you.

Can you drive when you have hearing loss? It’s really a personal choice. It is possible to be a good driver even if your hearing isn’t what it used to be because most likely your other senses will help you make the adjustment. But if you’re feeling worried about it, make an appointment to come see if we can help you better your situation, possibly by using hearing aids.

Contact us right away to schedule your hearing test and explore hearing aid solutions for your distinctive lifestyle.


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.