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Top Down? Turn up Your Hearing Aid

Are you a wind in the hair (and bugs in your teeth) kind of driver? Do you crave cruising the open road with an open top?

If so, there's something you should know. Did you hear that, Convertible Driver? Maybe not, because a study published recently in the Journal of Laryngology and Otology states that driving a car with its convertible top down for long periods of time can lead to permanent hearing damage.

The study examined noise levels in a variety of convertible vehicles and determined that sound levels regularly exceeded the recommended work safety level, which is 85 decibels. And occasional spikes in noise (due to increased speed or passing trucks) raised the sound to 90 db or higher.

Furthering ruining all the fun, the study recommends that drivers and passengers wear earplugs when traveling al fresco for extended periods of time, or when speeds exceed 52 miles per hour.

What's next? Wearing wrist guards while swimming?

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