You love to listen to music while you drive, as it helps you pass the time. However, your car’s stereo system isn’t very good. It wasn’t great when you bought it, and now one of the speakers is blown out. Can you just throw on your headphones and drive while listening to the music on your phone or MP3 player?
It depends where you live. Doing so is legal in many states, including Kentucky. Other states where you can wear headphones include Arkansas, Delaware, Kansas and Mississippi — just to name a few.
However, if you go on a road trip, be aware that the laws could change as you cross state lines. For example, wearing headphones is illegal in New York. The same is true in Louisiana, with one key exception: If you’re riding a motorcycle and the headphones are built into your helmet. Pennsylvania also outlaws headphones, with a different exception: You can have single-ear systems for hearing aids or talking on the phone.
However, whether it’s legal or not, you should also remember that experts say driving with headphones on can increase accident risks. The outside noise is eliminated. While that may be exactly what you want, it can keep you from hearing engine noises, car horns, pedestrians who are yelling, emergency sirens and many other noises that help keep you from crashing. The headphones may also be a distraction that increases accident risks when you’re lost in the music and not paying as much attention to the road.
Have you been hit by a driver who was wearing headphones? When other drivers are distracted and make mistakes, be sure you know what legal options you have to seek out compensation.
Source: Digital Music News, “Is It Legal to Wear Earbuds While Driving? Here’s the Law In Every US State.,” Paul Resnikoff, accessed Aug. 16, 2017