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 widespread challenge for older individuals, but does it warrant quitting driving? Driving habits differ amongst different people so the response isn’t straightforward.

While hearing loss is a factor to consider when driving a vehicle, a skilled driver is still capable even if they have to adjust the volume on the radio.

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

Think beyond driving…

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

There is a solid connection between hearing health and brain health, as reported by Johns Hopkins Medicine. The brain has to work extra hard struggling to hear, which causes it to have fewer resources for other everyday tasks. It is a contributing factor to brain atrophy, which results in dementia. Driving is definitely out of the question for somebody who has dementia.

If you have hearing loss, can you still drive?

You can still drive with hearing loss, but it should be noted that safe driving demands strong observational skills and this includes auditory awareness. Among the approximately 48 million Americans who suffer from hearing loss, the majority of them still drive according to the Center for Hearing Communication.

Guidelines for driving if you have hearing loss

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

Quit procrastinating

Come in to see us for a hearing exam and find out if hearing aids will help your situation. Hearing aids can help eliminate the “should I be driving with hearing loss” question.

Be a more observant driver

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 help you be less distracted. Turn the radio off and ask your passengers to keep the chatter to a minimum.

Remember to look at your dashboard frequently

It’s the little things that will add up when you drive with hearing loss. For example, you won’t hear that clicking noise that lets you know that your turn signal is on. So regularly look at your dashboard because your eyes will need to compensate.

Keep your vehicle well maintained

You might not hear that rattling noise under the hood anymore or the warning alarm telling you there is a problem with your engine or another essential component. That is a significant safety risk, so make a point of getting your car serviced regularly. For people with hearing loss, this is crucial, even more so than it would be for somebody who doesn’t have hearing loss.

Pay attention to other vehicles around you

This is a no-brainer for everyone 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 as well. Use the behavior 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. Your other senses will typically adjust to help keep you safe, which means it is feasible to drive safely even if your hearing is beginning to go. But if you’re feeling concerned about it, schedule an appointment to come see if we can help you improve your situation, possibly by using hearing aids.

Contact us today to schedule your hearing test and look into hearing aid options for your unique 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.