People depend on their ability to hear in numerous situations, making it hard to perform some common tasks if your hearing is impaired. Driving is one area that can cause problems for many people affected by impaired hearing. However, having hearing loss does not mean you have to throw away your keys. Keep these safe driving tips in mind the next time you get behind the wheel.

Keep your car in good shape: Strange noises are a typical danger signal that something is not quite right with your vehicle. If you aren’t able to hear when something is wrong with your engine you run the risk of driving an unsafe vehicle. Stay up to date with routine maintenance to make sure your car is in proper condition.

Only drive when you feel comfortable: If your hearing impairment makes you feel uncomfortable while driving a car it’s best to put down your keys. Take advantage of public transportation or other driving alternatives. You are more likely to make dangerous mistakes if you drive while stressed, so only drive when you feel confident and safe.

Reduce distractions: Your eyesight becomes very important when driving a car with hearing problems. 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. You’ll also find that it becomes more difficult to hear important traffic cues if you have the radio on while driving. By cutting out these distractions while you’re behind the wheel you can make sure you’re taking in all the information you need.

Be mindful of your hearing aid: If you have 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. Don’t be afraid to switch on the AC rather than driving with the windows open. The draft caused by rushing wind can reduce your hearing aid’s effectiveness, potentially putting you at risk.

As long as your doctor approves there is no reason for hearing loss to keep you from driving. Stay safe and enjoy the open road.