THE EFFECTIVENESS OF MOTORCYCLE HELMETS AS HEARING PROTECTORS

The objective of this study was to determine the amount of hearing protection provided to motorcycle or snowmobile drivers by 16 commercially available protective helments under actual running conditions. All helmets tested provided insignificant hearing protection at speeds of 45 mph or less, and approximately equal hearing protection at higher speeds; about 18 db at 70 mph. Type of helmet, whether standard or full-face coverage, makes insignificant difference in noise experienced by the rider. Rider to rider differences do not significantly affect at-ear noise levels under identical conditions, whether or not a helmet is worn. It is difficult to obtain proper fit with currently available helments of all but one major manufacturer. Even if a helmet fits tightly, unless it fits properly it is very unlikely that its acoustic performance would be any better than that of those helmets tested. Type of eye protection or visor makes insignificant difference in noise experienced by the rider. However, the removal of eye protection leads to slightly higher levels. Specially acoustically treated helmets as presently offered do not perform any better acoustically than non-treated helments. At speeds of less than 40 mph, most of the noise reaching the operator's ear is noise radiated from the motorcycle itself. At speeds of above 40 mph most of the noise reaching the operator's ear is wind noise caused by turbulence around the operator's helmet or head. /SRIS/

  • Corporate Authors:

    US Forest Service

    Equipment Development Center
    San Dimas, CA  USA  91773
  • Authors:
    • Harrison, R
  • Publication Date: 1973-9

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: 32 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00178505
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Report No. ED&T 2210
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 14 1978 12:00AM