Are NASCAR races loud enough that spectators should consider wearing headphones or earplugs? To put it simply: YES.
Here’s a look at some of the numbers associated to how loud a day at the races can be.
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.
However, if the decibels are slightly higher, the amount of safe listening time changes dramatically. Sounds that reach 115 dB can only be listened to safely for 15 minutes.
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.
At an absolute minimum, if you are attending a NASCAR race, you need to use earplugs. If you own a radio scanner, make sure to use a headset with at least a 20dB noise reduction rating — and be sure not to turn up the volume more than needed.
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, and healthy — we’ll see you at the races!