18 May 2010

Convertibles damaging hearing

Lovers of cruising down the highway in a convertible with the top down risk serious hearing damage, according to a British study.

Driving a convertible with the top down gives many a rush of wind thorugh their hair and a sense of freedom, but they may also suffer serious hearing damage, according to the study, conducted by the Worcestershire Royal Hospital in England.

The study measured the noise exposure to a single driver driving seven different convertibles with the windows lowered and the top down at 50, 60 and 70 miles per hour.

“The maximum noise was at 70 miles per hour, and that was 89 dB. It has the potential for causing long-term hearing loss”, stated Philip Michael, an ear-nose-throat surgeon and the study’s lead author.

Roll up the windows

The study also examined the noise exposure with the windows raised and the top down when the cars were driven at 70 miles per hour. “If you have the top down and put the windows up, it drops the average noise level to 84 dB”, said Philip Michael.