Does being inside a car with windows closed offer hearing protection?

Yesterday I got exposed to someone worker cutting concrete with a concrete saw, I was in my car driving by with windows closed, I was about 7-9 meters away from the saw. would that damage my hearing? How good are car windows protecting from outside noise?

What makes you think you’ve damaged your hearing? You need to be exposed to loud sounds for a good length of time to damage your hearing (ever been to a rock concert)
So noise above 75 - 85dB for a prolonged period (8 hours or more) will damage your hearing, anything over 110 - 120dB can have a immediate effect.

Glass in your car is a bit of a sound barrier, I mean it would have been a lot louder if your windows were down right, but don’t worry you won’t have damaged your hearing by this.

You’re correct, tenkan: a single artillery concussion or negligent small arms discharge at close range is enough to cause immediate, perceptible, and irreversible hearing loss.

I also agree with you that the OPs described experience won’t have caused damage:

My $0.02/FWIW

[Sorry if you were reading between my edits- the site is being very glitchy about typing today (more than usual.)]

What happens when an ambulance goes by. I think you’re worrying too much

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Tangential to this, some cars have sound attenuating windscreens.

Ambulance cab noise levels during siren use were intense (mean of 102.5 dBA in a common condition), well above the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s suggested guidelines of 90 dBA. Hearing levels of paramedics were reduced from presbycusis expectations. In the lower and higher frequency ranges, the personnel showed hearing acuity approximately one standard deviation below the normal mean.

Source: 1980 paper, Hearing in an ambulance paramedic population - ScienceDirect

And that’s inside the vehicle, probably with closed windows and doors. My own personal experience is that the sound in the direction of the air horn can be painfully louder. I’ve also been waiting for a light to change next to a city bus that released air from its air brakes in a big blast on starting up when the light changed and I suffered real pain and had my hearing “stunned” for a number of minutes thereafter - my driver’s side window was rolled down at the time.

In the good ol’ days, I seem to remember that fire trucks and police cars would have sirens wailing all the way to wherever they were going. These days to limit public disturbance (and perhaps to preserve hearing of all involved?), it seems like emergency vehicles only use sirens and horns as needed to clear a path, make drivers who are living in their own little world pull over, etc. And of course cops trying to catch a perpetrator in the act whiz by at high speed with lights flashing but turn off any siren in the proximity of a crime in progress to avoid giving the bad guy advance warning that the cavalry is coming.

Don’t know what you can do about a jackhammer except choose a different route. When I see any vehicle coming with flashing lights and using a siren, if it’s not a divided highway with the vehicle on the other side, I always pull over and cover my ears while waiting for the vehicle to pass.

I think another aspect to consider is that good hearing aids have automatic noise suppression that kicks in very quickly and turns off again slowly. The Resound LINX Quattro I use has this capability and it’s set to automatic in my general program.

It depends how it has been set up during the fitting, but it can help reduce the shock of a sudden loud noise, especially if it’s a continuing loud noise, like a siren or construction machinery.

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How loud is a concrete saw? I’ve read it varies between 97db to 103db, but some sources are speculating it could be higher than that. Does Osha or niosh have an official source?

Was it a gas powered or an electric saw?
Pneumatic tools are crazy loud!
Been around both. There are much louder things we HOH people get around.
That’s why most of us are here.

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Don’t want to give the OP something else to worry about but besides the noise, what about the debris he was inhaling? Can’t be good and not every car has HEPA filtration.

I feel positive that California has an advisory about that, maybe even slapping a warning sticker on your car as you drive by.

In the UK, we call them Still Saws, very powerful and extremely loud, I have my own one, it is a Husqvarna K720, used for cutting concrete, steel, ceramic pipes, tar roads, depends on what blade/disk you have on, goes through concrete like butter with the diamond blade I use… Years ago, working on the roads, I nearly lost my dangly bits whilst cutting a drainage pipe, I never noticed the lean mix on the road was undermined, I fell backwards into the track with the still saw on full revs, luckily it landed in-between my crouch area, about an inch short of my vitals…Phew, it was a close one :joy: :upside_down_face: :rofl:

Edit; Gas powered, usually 2 stroke @Raudrive

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The lean led me to thinking 2 stroke.
Other dialect wording I had to fill in the blanks but figured it out.
Many of us worked hard while losing our hearing.
Didn’t think twice about it at the time.

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I’m pretty sure my left ear hearing loss is at least partially due to driving with windows open (US, left hand drive, left ear exposed).

For a long time I only had cars with 4x60 air conditioning. Open all four windows and drive 60 miles per hour. There were a lot of years of road and wind noise in my ear.

One day a truck was next to me on the highway, very close, and a tire blew. I’m pretty sure that’s when my left ear hearing really got damaged. The pain in my ear was pretty bad. That tire was very near my ear when it happened.

I rarely drive with open windows anymore.

I loved that ambulance explanation especially since my remark was made in jest and the op wasn’t an ambulance driver. But thanks for taking the time

This has been a fun thread, but the OP was an obvious troll. Just wondered if anyone else has been the object of his rather bizarre ill wishes and name calling?

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