• Jan 7, 2011
Are you the type of driver who prefers the wind in your hair and infinite amounts of headroom? We're speaking about you here, Mr. Convertible driver, and we need to have a talk about your hearing – I said, "WE NEED TO HAVE A TALK ABOUT YOUR HEARING." In case your subscription hasn't arrived yet, a new study published in the Journal of Laryngology and Otology finds that driving a car with its convertible top down for long periods of time may lead to permanent hearing damage.

The study examined noise levels in a handful of drop tops and found that sound levels regularly exceeded the recommended work safety level of 85 decibels. Occasional spikes in noise levels due to increased speed or passing trucks pushed the sound to 90 db and above. The study recommends wearing ear plugs or a hood when traveling for extended periods with the top down. It also advises that motorists keep the top up if the journey will be long and speeds will exceed 52 miles per hour. Way to spoil all the fun of a convertible, scientists...

Even quicker way to damage your hearing? Drive your convertible to a NASCAR race. Or do lots and lots of burnouts like we did... whatever works for you.

[Source: Daily Mail]
Photo copyright ©2011 Drew Phillips / AOL


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  • 28 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I sure hope this study wasn't government funded....

      • 4 Years Ago
      Can't be as bad as surfing.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm sorry,I didn't hear you. I was driving my Scuderia Spider 16M..
      • 4 Years Ago
      I usually can't hear the passing trucks over the stereo anyway lol.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Was there any correlation to being old and having hearing loss; and they just happen to have bought a mid-life crisis convertible?
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is no surprise-any long term pilot or motorcyclist could have answered this correctly without a study. Extended exposure to loud, low frequency noise-as in wind blowing across you and your choice of transportation-can lead to hearing loss. Many motorcyclists wear ear plugs, but you need to understand that they do not block ALL sounds, just reduce the decibel levels. Pilots are lucky-ambient sounds of tires and horns from others are not important, the comm on the radio frequencies is what counts, so pilots started wearing passive noise reducing headphones decades ago; now the excellent level of sophistication in their active noise canceling headphones has leaked down to the audiophile market too.

      Old pilots who used hand mikes and piston engines know all about this problem.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A new angle by the insurance companies to get consumers to buy fewer convertibles.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Increasing speed - I'll stick to a properly designed windscreen, thank you very much. And I actually want to hear that.

      Passing trucks - What, you let a truck past you? Why on earth are you in a convertible?
      • 4 Years Ago
      How about riding a motorcycle
      • 4 Years Ago
      What?
      • 4 Years Ago
      You know what else damages you ears sticking pens in them. What a stupid study. If I ever see someone driving a convertible with ear plugs they, better be pulled over by a cop for having them in. I'm on boats all summer long since I was a baby. I guess I must be def according to this study. Convertible's also have been found to cause male pattern baldness, dry skin, melanoma and lung cancer from exhaust fumes. Anything else.....?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Can I also recommend drivers of convertibles to wear goggles?
      Even when I ride a bicycle without sunglasses, dust and insects find their ways into my eyes.
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