The loud noises experienced during a NASCAR race can be damaging to your hearing. If you’ve never been around a race car, it’s important to know that they create an abundant amount of loud noise. Yet surprisingly most fans choose not to wear any hearing protection when attending a race.
Are NASCAR races loud enough that spectators should be considering wearing headphones or earplugs? To be blunt, the answer is yes. Here’s a look at some of the numbers associated to how loud a day at the races can be.
How Loud Can Races Get?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), reports that a person can listen to a 90 decibel (dB) sound for a period of 8 hours straight without experiencing any hearing damage. For a comparison, 90 dB is approximately as loud as a bustling city street.
Surprisingly, if the decibels are slightly higher, the amount of safe time listening to them changes dramatically. Sounds that reach 115 dB can only be listened to safely for 15 minutes.
Let’s say you spend two hours listening to sounds at 100 dB. The recommended time to recover your hearing and prevent long-term hearing loss, is 16 hours of rest (or at the very least spending 16 hours away from very loud noises.)
A full throttle NASCAR race car measures approximately 130 dB, and that is just one car! Add in a full field of 43 cars with their sounds echoing off aluminum grandstands and the dangers to your hearing really become apparent.
Protect Your Ears at the Racetrack
If you own a radio scanner, purchase a decent headset with at least a 20dB noise reduction rating. If you are still undecided about whether or not you need a scanner, perhaps that is reason enough to make the purchase. Be sure to not turn up the volume more than needed.
At an absolute minimum, if you are attending a NASCAR race, you need to use earplugs. Purchasing them at the track for just a few dollars per pair can save your hearing. Try to look at it this way: If you can afford tickets to a race, parking, souvenirs, food and drinks you can probably afford a few dollars to protect your health.
If you have experienced hearing loss due to loud noise exposure, visit our website to find a hearing healthcare professional in your area. Stay safe, healthy, and we’ll see you at the races!