Oticon Alta

Driving Safety and Hearing Loss

No one wants to give up their driving privileges. It's for old people, the infirm or those with more than a few senior moments throughout the day. Dr. Robin Gonzalez published a piece at newsok.com that describes the problems aging senior drivers and their families face.
  • According to the Federal Highway Administration, drivers over 75 have the second highest number of fatal automobile accidents.
  • Older drivers are more likely to be injured and require hospitalization than younger drivers.
  • Older drivers are more likely to die in automobile accidents than their younger companions on the road.
  • 21% of Americans report some sort of vision impairment even if they wear glasses!
  • Hearing loss, common among the older crowd, affects 33% of drivers over 65 years of age.
  • Seniors reflexes slow with age, making driving - especially on busy highways - a dangerous adventure for the driver, passengers and others sharing the interstate.
  • Some seniors experience a degree of dementia as more and more of the synapses in the brain become disconnected. This affects the ability to make quick decisions or to react intuitively, creating more than a mere nuisance on the road.
  • Older drivers lose coordination, balance and other basics required for safe driving.

Hearing Loss is Seniors and Driving

Most of us think of driving as a vision thing. As long as we can SEE the road, we're okay. Not so, unfortunately.

You may not realize it but a lot of safe driving is related to the driver's ability to hear potential danger before even seeing it. Good hearing is essential to good driving, especially for aging seniors whose vision and reaction times are reduced.

The ability to hear is one of many essential senses related to safe driving. At some point, many of us will be faced with the unpleasant prospect of telling our parents that they shouldn't be driving any more, or they shouldn't be driving at night or until they have their eyes and hearing tested.

Treating hearing loss can assist senior drivers in improving their overall awareness while on the road and lead to safer driving.

Remember, it's not just about seeing well. It's often more important to be able to hear potential road hazards and alerts than to see them. The ability to hear gives drivers the ability to react appropriately.

To learn more about the aging process and how it affects our hearing (and ultimately driving safety), visit: Hearing Loss and Driving Safety: Honk if You Can Hear Me.

Share this Article


Related Content
Preferred Professionals Near You
See More Preferred Professionals

Clinics above not close enough?
Search with your zipcode below.

Sign Up for Our eNewsletter
Our free eNewsletter is delivered to your inbox every two weeks - it’s the best way to stay informed about what’s new at Healthy Hearing!
Preferred Hearing Professionals Near You

Jeffrey H. Aroesty MD, PC

400 Valley Rd Ste 105
Mount Arlington, NJ 07856

Click Here for Details

Total Hearing Care - Hillsborough

311 Courtyard Dr
Hillsborough, NJ 08844

Click Here for Details

ENT and Allergy Associates, LLP - Bridgewater

245 US HWY 22 W 3rd fl
Bridgewater, NJ 08807

Click Here for Details