Motorcycle Helmets Linked to Hearing Loss

Charlotte NC Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Motorcyclists wearing helmets may be at risk of hearing loss, not from the loud noise of their motorcycle engine, but from the sound of the wind cutting through the helmet. A new study has been done that shows the need for greater research to produce safer helmets that don’t have any health effects. If there is truly a risk to a motorcyclist’s hearing, this would indicate a higher risk of motorcycle accidents due to the inability of the rider to hear approaching vehicles and horns.

According to research by scientists at the University of Bath and Bath Spa University, wind can escape from just underneath the helmet, and can damage the eardrums. This sound can be strong enough to cause hearing loss. The study titled Aeroacoustic Sources of Motorcycle Helmet Noise finds that motorcyclists who wear helmets may be a risk of suffering hearing loss even when they ride at safe speeds.

The scientists in the study used mannequins, and re-created the levels of noise that a motorcyclist is exposed to while riding. They found one particular spot under the helmet which allows sound to travel to the eardrums. The researchers are calling for more studies into the differences in how motorcyclists perceive sound, in order to better understand what’s going on here.

In the meantime, they recommend protecting your hearing while wearing a helmet by using earplugs. Earplugs have long been found to be to be an effective way of protecting the ears from damage. Earplugs can help block out much of the noise that attacks eardrums, but allows motorcyclists to continue to hear important sounds, like traffic noise. Earplugs have been popular among motorcyclists for a while now, but are likely to become even more popular now that the study shows a high risk of hearing loss from helmets.

Wearing a helmet is still recommended regardless of the findings in this study. While we respect the opinions of the individuals who do not prefer to wear helmets, the benefits of wearing a motorcycle helmet are greater than any risks of suffering hearing loss from helmet use. The helmet is the most basic protection that a motorcyclist has, protecting him from fatal or serious traumatic brain injury in an accident.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, helmeted motorcyclists not only have a lower risk of suffering serious or fatal injuries, but also have lower hospitalization expenses and a shorter hospital stay after an accident. Non-helmeted motorcyclists are much more likely to suffer a serious injury, and end up spending more on hospitalization with several days in an inpatient treatment facility.

Researchers should use the findings of this study to design a safer helmet that can not only protect the motorcyclist from traumatic brain injury, but also reduce the risk of hearing loss. Anti-helmet groups already have enough reasons why they believe helmets should not be made mandatory, and they are likely to use these findings to further their cause. A motorcyclist has little control over how other motorists behave around them. They can’t control or account for drivers’ speeding, reckless driving or drunk driving. However, they can increase their chances of surviving accidents by wearing DOT-approved helmets.

Contact the Motorcycle Accident Law Firm of Bice Law

We investigate the accident records or scene in order to interview key witnesses and document evidence before it has been destroyed or removed.  We’ll review your medical records and evaluate your long-term prognosis to assess the amount of damages that your injury warrants. We proudly serve the people of North and South Carolina. We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have been involved in a serious motorcycle accident, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law today by calling (855) 5-BICE-LAW or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a motorcycle accident attorneyResults are how we measure success – we’ve built a strong reputation both in and out of the courtroom, and we’ll put our experience and expertise to work on your behalf.

Share this article on Social Media!