Convertible Driving May Result in Hearing Loss

If you drive a convertible at speeds of 50-70 mph (80-120 km/h), you should know that you are exposing yourself to the noise levels nearing those made by pneumatic drill. Long and repeated expose to noises of engine, street traffic and wind can cause irrevocable hearing loss, experts warn.

Convertible Driving

In the study, scientists measured noise levels to the left and right of the driver while cruising in a convertible at different speeds with the top down. At 50, 60 and 70 mph, the noise levels reached 88-90 decibels. The recommended noise levels are at 85 decibel. Above this threshold, a serious risk of irrevocable hearing loss occurs. Researchers repeated the experiment with different convertibles on the same stretch of road outside rush hour and found the same noise levels of about 90 decibels. Sometimes, the levels peaked at 99 decibels.

If you are die-hard convertible fan, experts advise you to find ways to protect your ears, like bike drivers. One way of doing this is rolling up the windows. This would lower the noise levels down to 82 decibels, below the recommended threshold. Experts note that hearing loss develops gradually within several years so a person could not even notice this happening.

Unfortunately, many people start feeling hearing problems when it’s too late. Dr Mark Downs, of the Royal Nation Institute for Deaf People says that noise-related hearing loss is preventable. If convertible drives roll up windows or wear ear plugs, they can safely enjoy driving without the risk of hearing loss.

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