The effect of noise on motor task functioning among young motorcyclist: A controlled experiment

Anila Ali, Roslinah Mohamad Hussain, Ali Asghar, Syed Zameer Ul Hassan, Gohram Khan Malghani, samiullah khan, Nazri Che Dom, Muhammad Qasim Khan


Motorcycle is a complex machine, and its riding requires mental alertness along with mind and body coordination. On the road, motorcyclists are subjected to excessive level of noise (> 90 dBA). High noise exposure can impair the motor task functioning. The assessment of motor task (dexterity) of motorcyclists under noise exposure has not been examined formerly as well as their psychological health profiling. Therefore, this study is aimed to investigate the effects of noise-induced motor task functioning among young motorcyclists (19 – 24 yrs.). The controlled laboratory experiment was conducted on undergraduate university motorcyclists (n = 60; 30 males, 30 females). Two groups were formed experimental (Exp-G; n = 30) and a controlled (Con-G; n = 30). The Exp-G operated motor activity test under 85-90 dBA motorcycle noise exposure, while Con-G exposed to controlled noise (65 dBA) levels. The sound level was examined concurrently by calibrated (114 dBA) Sound Level Meter. Purdue Pegboard battery test was used to measure motor task functioning consisting four subtests (Dominant Hand; Non-Dominant Hand; Both Hands; Assembly). The Independent sample t-test was used across all subtests to examine the comparison effect of motor task function (dexterity) between Exp-G and Con-G, and amongst genders. Result showed that the Con-G had significantly good quality presentation (p < 0.05) in all the subtests of Purdue Pegboard as compared to Exp-G. Gender differences were not found statistically significant (p > 0.05). Based on mean values, male participants of the Exp-G performed better under high noise levels than females, while among Con-G, females performed better. The results demonstrated significant effect of motorcycle noise on decreased motor task functioning of the participants (Exp-G). Therefore, it concludes that on-road excessive noise level exposure can hinder the motor task functioning and can contribute to impair the reaction time on excruciating hazardous position.

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