Effects of Motorcycle Noise on Annoyance-A Cross-Sectional Study in the Alps

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Feb 29;17(5):1580. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17051580.


Motorcycle noise is an increasing noise problem, especially in Alpine valleys with winding roads and low environmental noise. The annoyance response to motorcycle engine noise is extraordinarily high in comparison to other traffic noise and cannot be explained by standard noise assessment curves. Therefore, the Tyrolean state government decided to initiate a multi-purpose study. Exposures were calculated based on sound-measurements taken across the entire district of Reutte in the western part of the State of Tyrol and a telephone survey (n = 545) was conducted with regional participants. The influence of demographic characteristics; sensitivity to noise; attitudes towards motorcycles and background noise on the annoyance was examined using bivariate analyses. In addition; exposure-response curves and their 95% confidence intervals with cut-off points of 60% and 72% for "highly annoyed" were created. The exposure annoyance response curves for motorcycle noise show a shift of more than 30 dB in annoyance reaction compared to other road traffic noise. The annoyance response to motorcycle noise in this Alpine region is concentrated on summer Sundays and Saturdays and is independent of the background exposure caused by other road traffic.

Keywords: annoyance; background noise; exposure-response functions; motorbike noise; motorcycle noise; non-acoustic factors; road traffic noise.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motorcycles*
  • Noise, Transportation*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires