Noise exposure in convertible automobiles

J Laryngol Otol. 2011 Feb;125(2):121-5. doi: 10.1017/S0022215110002355. Epub 2010 Nov 25.


Objective: To quantify the noise exposure received while driving a convertible automobile with the top open, compared with the top closed.

Methods: Five different convertible automobiles were driven, with the top both closed and open, and noise levels measured. The cars were tested at speeds of 88.5, 104.6 and 120.7 km/h.

Results: When driving with the convertible top open, the mean noise exposure ranged from 85.3 dB at 88.5 km/h to 89.9 dB at 120.7 km/h. At the tested speeds, noise exposure increased by an average of 12.4-14.6 dB after opening the convertible top.

Conclusion: Driving convertible automobiles at speeds exceeding 88.5 km/h, with the top open, may result in noise exposure levels exceeding recommended limits, especially when driving with the convertible top open for prolonged periods.

MeSH terms

  • Automobile Driving*
  • Automobiles*
  • Environmental Exposure / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Environmental Exposure / prevention & control
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced / etiology
  • Humans
  • Noise, Transportation / adverse effects
  • Noise, Transportation / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Noise, Transportation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors