Taken from the book Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways To Make A Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza


-Noise is among the most pervasive pollutants today.
-28 million people have impaired hearing caused by noise.
-Hearing loss is occurring in people at younger and younger ages.
-The law states that the driver of a motor vehicle, when reasonably necessary to ensure safe operation, shall give audible warning with the horn. The law prohibits the use of horns for any other reason, except as part of an alarm system.
-Sound is measured by decibels (dBA). Common sounds include normal conversation (60 dBA), a noisy restaurant (85 dBA), a car horn (110 dBA), and a jackhammer (130 dBA)
-At 110 dBA, hearing damage can occur after 1 minute and 29 seconds.

1. Only use your horn when it is reasonable necessary to ensure the safe operation of your vehicle.
2. Don’t use your horn to let someone know you are angry, to tell people you’re waiting outside to pick them up, to say goodbye, or as a way of protesting.
3. Get your hearing checked.

After taking several trips to New York City, I can attest that this is a definite problem there. Horns are honking NON STOP. The taxi drivers are constantly honking. I don’t think I was ever in a taxi that wasn’t honking or that we weren’t being honked at. I can’t imagine having to listen to that all day long! Here is small town Iowa it really isn’t too much of a problem. Maybe on the last day of school or Homecoming weekend, the kids honk their horns as they leave school, but that would be it. I never thought of it being so damaging to our hearing, but definitely remember how loud it was walking down the streets in NYC. Noise induced hearing loss, though preventable, is permanent. Often by the time you realize you are losing your hearing, it’s too late.

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