When and Why is it illegal to drive with Headphones?

If your work demands regular traveling or you drive a cab for your earning and often gets bored with the same pickup services, then you must be wondering whether I could listen to songs or listen to radio shows to get rid of the boredom. But on the other hand, you will also wonder whether is it illegal to drive with headphones? No worries, just stick to this guide and get your answer about the use of headphones while driving.

Well, driving with your headphones on is not a good idea at all. You may not only be putting yourself in trouble but the passengers you are traveling with can be at high risk as well. This is because while you put your headphones on, your senses limit your ability to respond to things that may cause dangerous abnormalities. Additionally, you can’t hear the sirens or the horns that may be alerting you before you hit someone on the road. So headphones behind the wheels may cause serious trouble.

However, feeling disappointed to know the consequences and pursuing something that is illegal are two different things with different ramifications. Today in the article, we have put together the information that you may need about your state’s headphones laws. Plus, we will also discuss when and why it is illegal to drive with headphones.

You may also read: Is it illegal to leave your Kids in the Car?

Is it illegal to Drive with Headphones?

States have different laws when it comes to the legality of wearing headphones while driving. In some states wearing earbuds while driving is legal, whereas you cannot even think about wearing headphones while driving in some states due to serious penalties.

It all depends on the place where you reside and the circumstances associated with it.

And then again, there may be some exemptions that you should consider while driving with headphones. For instance, in Texas, it is not illegal to put in headphones while driving, however, you can be pulled over for dangerous driving.

Here’s the list of states that make it illegal to drive with headphones as compared to others who don’t.

States Where Driving with Headphones is Legal

According to the recent driving laws, these states do not impose charges when you drive with your headphones.

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Alabama
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Idaho
  • Kentucky
  • Kansas
  • Michigan
  • Maine
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • Nevada
  • North Dakota
  • North Carolina
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Wisconsin
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

Before you attempt to drive within these states with your headphones, make sure to look for the current driving regulations that may get updated. For instance, you may not be charged with a ticket because of your headphones but for reckless driving, you will surely be charged. Most states where driving with headphones is legal, have similar laws.

States Where Driving with Headphones is Illegal

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Maryland
  • Louisiana
  • Ohio
  • Minnesota
  • Virginia
  • Rhode Island
  • Washington

State Exemptions on Driving with Headphones Laws

Depending on certain circumstances, it becomes legal or illegal in states to wear headphones while driving. Before you ask a traffic cop ‘it is illegal to drive with headphones’ you should be aware of the driving laws of your state. Few driving state laws with some exemptions include:

Arizona: While there are no limitations for drivers to drive with headphones on. But people associated with child care and drivers who drive school buses must not operate vehicles with headphones.

Colorado: It is illegal to drive with headphones in Colorado, but receiving a call while driving in one ear is legal. The same rule goes with Florida.

Georgia: Unless you are making a call in one ear, headphones are illegal in Georgia

Massachusetts: In Massachusetts, wearing headphones while driving is legal only when you are using a talking GPS to navigate.

New York: Headphones are permitted but only in one ear.

Pennsylvania: It is not permitted in Pennsylvania to wear headphones in any circumstances except receiving a call with one ear.

How much it would be dangerous to drive with headphones?

Driving law experts believe that driving with your headphones can be one of the most dangerous things that you could ever commit. This is because nobody would be able to drive safely just by using their eyes only. Your ability to hear keeps you alert whether there’s a vehicle approaching or if someone needs your help.

Moreover, even if your state allows you to wear headphones while driving, you put yourself and everyone at risk every time you do that. Plus, some excuse will always be there like you were using for navigation or for calls when you are pulled over.

So, it is always suggested to use both of your eyes and ears if you are driving to keep everyone safe.

Probable Penalties for Violating Driving Laws in Place

States put driving with headphones executions under distracted driving laws. This is because drivers are distracted this way and drive in an even unsafe manner.

Here are some scenarios where you can be convicted for reckless driving.

When you are pulled over

Most states allow you to use cellphones while driving for call only but the permission cannot be extended to other devices or the use of cellphones for any other purpose while driving. Again depending on the situation, a patrolman can pull you over and charge you with a $100 ticket for a traffic violation or a citation.

Moreover, the charge can be extended if the patrolman finds you wearing headphones other than calls. The charge can be a minimum of $200 along with 30 days of prison time behind bars.

When there’s an accident

If you hit someone being the driver-at-fault, the other motorist can sue you with distracted driving accusations if found wearing headphones. If your state allows you to wear headphones while driving, then you may be entitled to get away with a minor compensation, but in other states, it would be taken as a criminal execution and lead to severe charges.

Protect your rights with a Car Accident Attorney

Regardless of your state, there’s no way that you get away easily after distracted or reckless driving causing harm to others while driving with headphones on.

Either way, this unsafe behavior may lead to serious damages to you and other motorists on the road. Pay full attention while driving both with your eyes and ears.

Furthermore, if you are pulled over or involved in an accident, contact your local car attorney to know how to protect your rights and minimize the compensation if your state prohibits you from driving with headphones.

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