Text Resize

Planes, Trains & Automobiles: Traveling by Train or Car


Planes, Trains & Automobiles: Traveling by Train or Car

Traveling for business or pleasure can take you to new places that often bring their own communication and navigation challenges, especially if you have a hearing loss. By planning ahead and knowing what to expect, travel can be an enjoyable, stress free experience. Below, we detail specific considerations for traveling by train or car. See our other posts on general habits for successful travel and traveling by air.

Car Travel

  • Always wear your hearing aids. Wearing the hearing aids while operating a vehicle ensures you are aware of all the sounds of the road. If some sounds, like wind road noise, seem too loud you should talk to your audiologist to make adjustments to your current settings.
  • Communicate well with other passengers. To better hear the other people in the car, some devices have features that allow you to focus directional microphones to one side or even behind you. There are also options for remote microphone accessories to improve how well you hear others.
  • Keep the music down. Not only does loud music damage your hearing, but it’s also a big distraction that can make it impossible to hear sound cues from the outside environment. Loud music can cause you to miss ambulance or police car sirens that are nearby. These are noises you do not want to miss in case you need to move your car out of the way.
  • Stay focused! Don’t try to multitask if you’re driving and be sure to put down the phone. Distracted driving always a problem, but if you suffer from hearing loss, it’s extra important to focus on the road because you need to use visual cues to make sense of your external environment. Hearing loss makes it harder to pinpoint the relative distance of moving vehicles based on sounds, so using your eyes carefully is important for protecting yourself and those around you.

Train Travel

  • In the station. Pay close attention to the posted schedule or if available, use an app on your smartphone to notify you via text or email of time changes, platform changes, or routing issues. These notification sounds may even stream through Bluetooth enabled hearing aids.
  • Reduce background noise. Your hearing aids should have special features to reduce background noise both while you are in the station and once on the train. Be sure to speak with your audiologist to optimize these settings.
  • On board the train. Sit in the quiet car to avoid unwanted noise and to ensure you don’t miss any important announcements. Some trains feature visual notices for upcoming stops. If your train doesn’t have visual notices, you may want to let the conductor or attendant know you have a hearing loss, or even ask a fellow passenger to alert you when your stop is coming up.


If you believe you’re suffering from hearing loss please call Evolution Hearing at our Charlottesville, VA location, 434-260-8007, at our Raleigh, NC location, 919-670-3258, or at our Richmond, VA location, 804-215-0001 to schedule an appointment today.