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Do your ears make you a dangerous driver?

Think for a minute about all the things that we hear as drivers that make us better prepared for the road… we hear a vehicle rounding a corner before we see it, we hear sirens before we see an accident site, we hear the sounds of children playing and tires squealing. We hear the sounds of our car asking for servicing.

Are you in denial about a hearing loss? (Yes we’re talking to you!) Studies show your hearing loss does in fact affect your driving skill, particularly, adults with hearing loss had greater difficulty driving safely in the presence of distractions than older adults with normal hearing.  Because distractions such as conversation, reading street signs, listening to the radio, using a mobile phone or navigation system are a present day reality for all drivers..  This study, which references similar studies of adults with hearing loss suggests that the additional effort of listening to a degraded auditory signal detracts one’s resources from other cognitive tasks, making it more difficult to attend safely to the road.

As you get older, the Ministry of Transportation makes it essential that a hearing test is performed before renewing a drivers licence, and amplifying if there is need. This is never a bad idea for the safety of all drivers on the road. 

If you or a loved one are struggling to hear road noises and you believe its affecting safety, come in for a hearing test. One hour of your time could mean safer roadways for everyone. Call us to arrange an appointment. Remember, May is Better Hearing Month, your hearing test only costs a canned food donation for The Essex Area Food Bank! (519) 961-9285.