Driving With the Top Down Can Damage Your Ears

Convertible File this story under “it doesn’t take an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat doctor) to figure this one out.”

Driving in a convertible with the top down could damage your eardrums and degrade your hearing over time, according to a study presented yesterday at the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation’s annual meeting in San Diego.

A convertible-owning British surgeon studied seven different convertibles for noise levels at more than 50 mph. The surgeon found prolonged driving with the top down results in noise levels that can damage passengers’ ears. The most offensive noises come from wind, passing trucks and other traffic. It’s been reported that wind causes more hearing damage for motorcyclists than their loud exhausts, as well.

The lesson? Retract that roof sparingly; the faster you’re driving, the more noise you’ll generate.

Convertibles May Be Hazardous to Your Hearing (Up to Speed)

By Stephen Markley | October 7, 2009 | Comments (4)
Tags: Safety



Ear plugs.

Of course, that makes a great deal of sense. But people do things that cause damage to their ears all the time - such as listening to music through their headsets at far too high a level. Still, enjoy the top down, just not at fast speeds. Excellent information to know!


^ I highly recommend a "Through Ian's Lens" feature on Shari Brock.


Makes sense to me. I drove a number of soft top Jeeps when I was younger. I now have partial hearing loss in my left ear. Right ear is fine. I am sure all that wind rushing past my left ear at 70 mph had more than a little to do with it.

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