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.

Hearing loss is a common challenge for older individuals, but does it merit giving up driving? The response isn’t straightforward, as driving habits differ 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 people who commute on a regular basis the question of whether hearing loss presents a threat while driving is a significant consideration. Is your hearing loss making you a dangerous driver?

Think beyond driving…

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

Johns Hopkins Medicine has found there is a distinct relationship between hearing and brain health. Struggling to hear forces the brain to use valuable resources just to comprehend what people are saying. It has a negative impact on cognition and can contribute to the onset of dementia. Driving is certainly off the table for a person with dementia.

Should you drive with hearing loss?

You can continue to drive with hearing loss, but it should be noted that safe driving requires good observational skills including auditory awareness. Among the approximately 48 million Americans who suffer from hearing loss, most of them still drive according to the Center for Hearing Communication.

Driving with hearing loss

You can still be a safe driver if you make some adjustments and use these tips.

Quit putting off

Visit us, get a hearing test, and consider how hearing aids can help things for you. Hearing aids can help remove the “should I be driving with hearing loss” question.

When you drive, be more observant

You will still need to be aware of what’s happening around your vehicle even if you use hearing aids.

Keep the noise down inside your car

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

Learn to check your dashboard frequently

It’s the little things that will mount up when you drive with hearing loss. For example, you will no longer hear that clicking sound that lets you know that your turn signal is blinking. So regularly check your dashboard because your eyes will have to pick up the slack.

Keep your vehicle well maintained

You may not hear that rattling noise under the hood now or the warning bell alerting you to an issue with your engine or another critical component. That is a significant safety risk, so make a point of having your car serviced routinely. For individuals with hearing loss, this is crucial, even more so than it would be for somebody who doesn’t have hearing loss.

Pay close attention to other vehicles around you

Of course, you would do that anyway, but you want to watch for signs you may be missing something. You may not hear emergency sirens, for example, so if the cars are pulling over to the side, you should as well. watch to see how other drivers are reacting to their surroundings to get clues on what you might not be hearing.

Can you drive when you have hearing loss? It’s really a personal choice. It is possible to be a safe driver even if your hearing isn’t what it once was because most likely your other senses will help you make the adjustment. If the idea makes you nervous, though, then it’s time to come see us and find a solution to improve your situation, like wearing hearing aids.

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