A NASCAR track is not one of those places you can go expecting some peace and quiet. While drivers and crew may wear ear protection (though they're not required), fans of NASCAR often don't, enjoying the sound of the cars and the crowd. Now a study by NIOSH - the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health - has broken down exactly how loud NASCAR is . And yes - it's a threat to your hearing.
Here's how it broke down. Keep in mind that 85-90 decibels is usually considered the maximum threshold for a person to listen to.
The pit area: up to and exceeding 130 decibels The stands: 96 decibels Inside a car during practice: 114 decibels Racing: up to and exceeding 140 decibels
Here's what the NIOSH recommends as a remedy: "Crewmembers should be afforded the same hearing protection currently provided to drivers—that of custom-molded earplugs with built-in speakers. Workers at race tracks and spectators should also be made aware of the noise problem through education and informational campaigns."
However, as you can see from the comments on the NIOSH blog, telling them not to waste money on the survey (which was requested by the management of a professional racing team) and to "butt out," it remains to be seen if these recommendations are taken to heart.