Study: Driving in a Convertible Can Cause Hearing Loss

The top is down, the wind is whipping though your hair – man, nothing beats riding in a convertible on a sunny day. We’re sorry to be the ones to burst this little bubble of Zen, but there’s a new report out that says high-speed driving while in a convertible can be hazardous to your hearing.

Hey, don’t shoot the messenger. It’s those kill-joys over at the St. Louis University School of Medicine and the Ear Institute of Texas. A recent study released by the researchers there have found serious hearing loss can occur you drive at speeds of 55 mph or more in a convertible.

To conduct their study, researchers used five different makes and models of convertibles: a 2009 Saturn Sky 2.0 Turbo, 2004 Nissan 350Z, 2001 Porsche 911 Carrera 4, 2005 Saab Aero Convertible, and 2005 Ford Mustang GT Convertible. They found that when driving at speeds of 55 mph with the top down, 80 percent of the tests recorded maximum sound readings greater than 85 decibels. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health says that this is a dangerous level if exposure is lasting.

So what’s the solution? If you’re taking an extended road trip with the top down, keep your speed below 55 mph or keep the roof up. Your ears will thank you.

[Source: Motor Authority]