Navigating through the world with hearing loss can be difficult at times, particularly when you need to depend on your hearing for health and safety. Many individuals with hearing problems find that driving a car can become a challenge. Fortunately, just because you have difficulty hearing doesn’t mean that safe driving is out of the question. Keep these safe driving tips in mind the next time you get behind the wheel.

Keep up with car maintenance: You know that if your motor is making a strange sound there is probably a problem with it. However, if you can’t pick up on audio clues that something is wrong with your vehicle you may end up driving an unsafe car. Stay up to date with routine maintenance to make sure your car is in proper condition.

Don’t drive if you are not comfortable: If your hearing loss makes you feel uncomfortable while driving a car it’s best to avoid it. Take advantage of public transportation or other driving alternatives. Driving while stressed or uncomfortable may make you more likely to make dangerous errors, so don’t get behind the wheel unless you are feeling safe and confident.

Reduce distractions: If your hearing isn’t ideal you will have to be more reliant on your other senses, such as vision. Therefore, you can put yourself (and your passengers) in danger if distractions such as electronic devices or food draw your eyes away from the road. Similarly, listening to the radio can make it even more difficult to hear sirens, horns, and other important traffic cues. Get rid of any influences that get between you and the road to make sure you aren’t missing crucial information.

Drive with your hearing aid in mind: If you wear a hearing aid be sure you don’t get behind the wheel without it. It’s also important to make sure your car’s environment is conducive to proper hearing aid functioning. Rely on your car’s climate control system to maintain a comfortable temperature rather than opening the windows. The draft caused by rushing wind can reduce your hearing aid’s effectiveness, potentially putting you at risk.

Hearing loss doesn’t have to keep you from driving if your doctor approves. Stay safe out there!