Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Motorcycle Helmets Could Increase Hearing Loss Risks

Motorcyclists who wear helmets while riding are definitely much better protected in an accident than those without helmets. A new study however, indicates that helmeted motorcyclists may be at a higher risk of suffering hearing loss.

Researchers used mannequins, and duplicated the kind of sound that a motorcyclist is exposed to when he is wearing a helmet and riding down a highway. They found that the sound of high velocity wind can enter through a point just below the helmet and reach the eardrums. The noise can be very loud, and can reach decibels of 150 or more. This is almost equal to the amount of noise that a worker using a power saw is exposed to without adequate ear protection. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, exposure to these levels of noise should limited to under fifteen minutes a day. This noise can damage the eardrums, and possibly cause hearing loss.

The effect of noise on a motorcyclist’s hearing has been explored before. Unfortunately, there are no noiseless helmets just like there are no noiseless motorcycles. Being exposed to high velocities of sound is a part of the motorcycling experience.

Some experts recommend that motorcyclists protect their hearing by wearing earplugs underneath their motorcycle helmets, as long as the earplugs you chose do not block out too much sound. Earplugs have always been recommended as a way of cutting out unnecessary or excessive noise while still allowing a motorcyclist to hear necessary sounds. For instance, earplugs will help block out the excessive sound of wind entering from underneath the helmet and into your ears. You will still be able to hear audio cues like the sound of other motorcycles or cars nearby.

Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers stress that under no circumstances should the results of the study be taken to mean that wearing motorcycle helmets is unsafe or dangerous in any way. There are still far too many benefits to wearing motorcycle helmets, compared to any perceived health hazards from wearing these.


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