Oct 12 2009 Ian Johnson
Could topless driving make you deaf?
IT'S like driving in the good old days.
On a fine sunny morning you fold the roof back on the sports number and really open it up with the wind in your hair and roaring in your ears.
But it could harm your hearing.
One respected science correspondent this week reported that a British doctor claims that driving at just 50mph with the roof down can create noise levels that permanently damage your hearing.
The medic in question found that drivers can sometimes be exposed to between 88 and 90 decibels, with highs of 99 decibels - the equivalent of a disco.
He states that long or repeated exposure to sounds over 85 decibels are widely recognized to cause permanent hearing loss.
Recommended precautions to lessen the impact include keeping the windows up, and wearing ear plugs like some motorcycle riders.
So why were not the motorists of the 1920s and 1930s (when many cars were open-topped) not wandering around saying 'Pardon' all the time?
The reason I am quite sure is that cars were just not as fast, there was no juggernaut pounding along in the next lane, no emergency vehicle sirens, no air horns and no high output audios on full volume to overcome the wind noise.
Certainly interesting research we should all hearken to.