I'd almost have to say you've never ridden with ear plugs. None of that is actually reality. Forget the screeching brakes, what if they didn't break at all. You don't wear a helmet and that's fine, it's your choice but I'm sure it has influence what you may think and probably have a similar view of helmets as far as sound is concerned. Anyway, a good set of ear plugs pretty much eliminates the sound of turbulent air while not hindering actual mechanical noise very much at all, but that's my opinion of course.Scenario:
Your riding with ear plugs, you start to pull up to a red light in a congested area (high traffic and noisy)... the car behind you is on the cell phone and does not see your brake light early enough, and has to hit them so hard they are coming to a screeching halt behind you. Boom!
the best defensive riding tools is Vision, awareness, and sound.
He has effectivly taken away or at the verry least limited his ability to "fully" know his suroundings.
I like to hear the engine as I ride, it soothes my soul... But mostly to make sure nothing funny is going on that may need attention to prevent any serious damage.
Not to point fingers or nothing, but ear plugs while riding "to me" just sounds stupid and dangerous.