Understanding Personal Injury Law

Understanding Personal Injury Law

Can Using Headphones While Driving Be Considered Negligent?

Celina Nichols

When it comes to driving, there are many things that can distract you, from a text message or phone call to eating on the go. According to data collected by the CDC, eight people die and 1,161 people sustain injuries every day in car crashes that involve a distracted driver.

One of the longest arguments when it comes to distracted driving is whether or not using headphones while operating a vehicle is a good idea. Does popping those ear buds in make you a negligent driver? This is what you should know about driving with headphones.

It Could Be Illegal Where You Live

Aside from the general assumptions of driving, the laws of the road vary in different states. Due to the advancement of technology, the laws about using headphones have grown somewhat confusing. Tools such as hands-free headset devices are considered headphones and inhabit a gray area. Some states like California and Washington have allowed hands-free sets to be the exception to the rule. In contrast, Virginia has completely banned headpieces altogether.

Regardless of what state you live in, causing an accident while wearing headphones can still get you in trouble with your insurance company because they frown on distracted driving. One of the more well-known insurance companies, AAA, keeps an updated record of state laws linked to the topic. They also discourage using headphones behind the wheel.

Check with your insurance agency or the local Department of Transportation for information on the headphone laws in your state. Most states have not prohibited the use of headphones behind the wheel but do have their own regulations about their use while driving in place. 

It's Always Dangerous

Whenever you drive, your senses are heightened, and it is just as important to hear as it is to see. Having headphones in most likely means that you are chatting on the phone or jamming to music. Whatever their purpose, they block outside sound and decrease your ability to properly operate your vehicle.

Limiting your ability to hear while driving is not only dangerous for you but other drivers and pedestrians. If you cannot hear sirens or a car blow its horn, it is a problem. Just as you have the right to drive, people have the right to be protected on the road.

Can using headphones while driving mean that you are negligent? Yes. Even if the law in your state says it's okay, it's not without hesitation.

If you're injured in an accident with another driver who is wearing headphones, or any distracted driving situation, talk to a an auto accident attorney today. Attorneys like those at Reed Law may be able to help.


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About Me
Understanding Personal Injury Law

About a year ago, I was left dealing with injuries sustained during a serious car accident. I was worried that I would never be the same, so I decided to start looking into ways to make things right. After thinking about the wreck, I realized that since it wasn't my fault, I shouldn't be left with all of the medical expenses. I decided that I needed to look into things a little further, and I decided to file a personal injury lawsuit. My lawyer helped me to come to grips with the extent of my injuries and helped me to make things right. This blog is all about understanding personal injury lawsuits.