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Motorcycle Helmets Linked to Hearing Loss; Does this increase the number of motorcycle accidents?

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 indicates 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. It would be helpful if a study was performed to determine if there was an increase in the number of accidents, injuries and wrongful deaths among riders with a hearing loss.

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.

Atlanta motorcycle accident attorneys would definitely not recommend avoiding motorcycle helmet use just because of the findings of the study.While we respect the opinions of persons who do not like wearing 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.

However, Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyers would like to see researchers 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.

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