Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Is your convertible damaging your hearing?

Date:
January 6, 2011
Source:
Cambridge University Press
Summary:
Driving convertible cars with the top open at speeds exceeding 88.5 kilometres per hour (55 miles per hour) may put drivers at increased risk of noise-induced hearing loss, according to new research.

Driving convertible cars with the top open at speeds exceeding 88.5 kilometres per hour (55 miles per hour) may put drivers at increased risk of noise-induced hearing loss, according to new research published in The Journal of Laryngology and Otology, by Cambridge University Press on behalf of JLO (1984) Ltd from the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Missouri and The Ear Institute of Texas, San Antonio.

The research was carried out using five different makes and models of car. Sound level measurements in 80 per cent of the cars at 88.5 kmph with the top down had maximum sound recordings greater than 85 decibels. Exposure of noise above 85 dB for prolonged periods is not recommended according to the US-based National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. The higher the noise level, the shorter the recommended exposure time.

At 120.7 kmph (75 mph) the mean noise exposure inflicted on the driver of a convertible car driven with the top open was 89.9 decibels. Not only was the mean noise exposure excessive with the top open, but the driver was also exposed to extreme noise 'spikes' while driving on the highway; for example, when driving next to a motorcycle or lorry. The study was undertaken using a sound level meter operated by a passenger in each car tested. The passenger took a series of between eight to ten sound level measurements at various points in the journey from the position of the driver's left ear, at various speeds. During all data collection, the car radio was turned off, there was no conversation between occupants, air conditioning was turned off, the car horn was not used and there was no rain or other inclement weather.

Drivers of convertible cars may also be exposed to additional noise when listening to the car radio. Even for comfortable listening, the radio volume levels required while driving under the conditions assessed in this study are likely to add significantly to the noise exposure level.

During the study, no excessive noise levels were recorded from any tested car driven with the top closed, meaning there is no more than minimal risk of excessive noise exposure when driving with the convertible top closed.

Dr A A Mikulec from the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, who oversaw the study, said: "When the convertible automobiles were driven with the top open, high levels of noise were consistently recorded. Although driving for short distances under such levels of noise exposure is unlikely to cause a significant degree of noise-induced hearing loss, our study demonstrates that long duration driving at high speeds with the convertible top open will increase the driver's risk of hearing damage."

"In light of the results of this study, we are recommending that drivers be advised to drive with the top closed when travelling for extended periods of time at speeds exceeding 85.3 kmph."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cambridge University Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A A Mikulec, S B Lukens, L E Jackson, M N Deyoung. Noise exposure in convertible automobiles. The Journal of Laryngology & Otology, 2010; 1 DOI: 10.1017/S0022215110002355

Cite This Page:

Cambridge University Press. "Is your convertible damaging your hearing?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110106092034.htm>.
Cambridge University Press. (2011, January 6). Is your convertible damaging your hearing?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110106092034.htm
Cambridge University Press. "Is your convertible damaging your hearing?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110106092034.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins