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Say What? Convertibles Can Damage Your Hearing?

New study warns drivers to slow down or put the top back up.

by on Jan.07, 2011

Danger: top down.

Say what?  A new study finds that driving too fast – and for too long – with the top down on your convertible can damage your hearing.

And even if you’re not driving all that fast, running alongside a truck, motorcycle or muscle car can expose you to “noise spikes” loud enough to do permanent damage, according to the Journal Laryngology and Otology, which reports on the medical science of hearing.

Testing a variety of different convertibles, researchers found that in 80% of them noise levels hit maximum levels of 85 decibels or greater at speeds of 55 mph.  The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health says prolonged exposure to noise at that level can be damaging.  And the louder the sound the shorter the recommended exposure.