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While headphones can improve your listening experience, they can also cause you to become distracted while driving. If you can’t focus on the road, you’re more likely to get into an accident. That’s why some states have prohibited the use of devices such as cell phones and headphones while driving. In this article, we’ll discuss why it is illegal to drive with headphones and provide straightforward alternatives for a safer driving experience.

Driving With Headphones Can Have Severe Legal Consequences

Some states have strict laws against driving with headphones. The scope and penalties of this law varies by state. For example, in Colorado, Florida, and Georgia, it’s illegal to drive with headphones but taking a call in one ear is permitted. In Arizona, only child care providers and school bus drivers aren’t prohibited from wearing headphones while operating a motor vehicle.

Distracted driving laws usually apply to the use of cellphones while driving but they can extend to other devices, such as headphones. If found guilty, drivers can be charged as much as $100 or be given a citation. In the event of an accident, the charge could be changed to dangerous driving, which carries a $200 fine and/or a 30-day jail sentence. Although some states allow the use of headphones while driving, you should refrain from doing so because it can be a distraction.

driving with headphones
Distracted driving laws usually apply to the use of cellphones while driving but they can extend to other devices, such as headphones. If found guilty, drivers can be charged as much as $100 or be given a citation.

Distracted Driving Can Cause Accidents

Even if it isn’t against the law to wear headphones while driving in your state, you should still consider wearing headphones a type of distracted driving. According to a report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted driving accidents caused over 3,100 fatalities and 424,000 injuries in the US back in 2019. DriveSafeOnline claims that since 2000, there have been three times as many pedestrians wearing headphones who’ve been struck by vehicles.

Headphones keep you from hearing crucial warning sounds. For example, if you’re wearing headphones with the music turned all the way up, you might not hear the siren of an emergency vehicle warning you to stop. This can lead to an accident.

Headphones with noise-cancellation can muffle background noise and keep your mind off the road. Headphone wires can also get tangled around your arm while you drive, causing you to be distracted.

answering a call using headphones while driving
In Colorado, Florida, and Georgia, it’s illegal to drive with headphones but taking a call in one ear is permitted.

What You Should Be Doing Instead

For everyone’s safety, you should refrain from using headphones while driving because it can prevent you from hearing important warning sounds and delay your response time. Use your car’s stereo if you want to listen to music and set your phone calls to speaker mode so you can still keep your ear on the road. However, it would be best if you could avoid taking calls while driving because it can also serve as a distraction.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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