Can You Wear Headphones While Driving?

Different States Have Different Rules!

Can You Wear Headphones While Driving

In our busy day-to-day lives, we are on the road quite often. And, with suburbs expanding, we take time to reach our respective destinations. Therefore, during your journey, it is highly liked that you will receive some calls – a few of which you will need to answer. Suppose you are on a highway or a busy road, where pulling over isn’t an option, what do you do? Can you wear headphones while driving and take calls while you are on the move? Many people are asking this question! 

Frankly speaking, the answer to this question depends on where you live. The road rules differ from state to state. Some states may allow you to wear headphones while driving and others may not. Therefore, if you are someone who often travels interstate, you must know the rules of the states you will be traveling through and to. 

If you have been aching to find out the right answer to an important question “Can you wear headphones while driving?” you have come to the right place. Read further to know more.

What Precautions Should I Take While Driving?

When you are on the road, you have to be alert. Your sense of sound plays a crucial role. You should be able to clearly and distinctly hear trains, screeching tires, or perhaps police or an ambulance siren. Therefore, if you are planning to use headphones while driving, and are permitted to do so in your state, ensure you use earbuds instead of headphones.

Use Earbuds Instead of Headphones

Keep in mind to only wear one of the earbuds and not both of them. In fact, our experts recommend wearing it in the ear away from the driver’s window, that is, the right ear.

We cannot stress how important it is to be continuously alert and attentive when you are driving. Don’t let a phone call or your favorite playlist distract you from your surroundings. We understand that there may be a lot of external noises so you may want to turn up the volume of your headphones, but make sure it isn’t too loud and that you are able to hear other sounds as well.

What Are the Rules For Wearing Headphones While Driving in Iowa?

While driving rules such as drinking and driving, or texting while driving are strictly prohibited in Iowa, the state government allows drivers to wear headphones when they are on the road. Remember that while wearing headphones while driving is allowed, it doesn’t mean you can’t face charges and consequences if you have committed a mistake while driving.

Can You Wear Headphones While Driving in Michigan?

Are You Allowed to Wear Headphones While Driving in Michigan?
Are You Allowed to Wear Headphones While Driving in Michigan?

In Michigan, there is no law that prohibits you from wearing headphones while driving. However, keep in mind that local towns may have different rules too. However, it’s critical to note that it’s illegal to text and drive in Michigan. Therefore, if you are seen with a phone in your hand while driving, you can be penalized for the same.

Does California Have Special Rules For Wearing Headphones While Driving?

Toward the start of 2016, California put forward a law stating that motorcyclists and drivers are not permitted to wear headphones or earphones covering both their ears while driving. They are, however, allowed to wear earbuds in one ear. In fact, California had banned drivers and bikers from wearing over-the-ear headphones quite a long time ago, but recently decided to include earphones into this rule too.

Does the State of Texas Allow Wearing Headphones While Driving?

There is no law in Texas that states whether driving while wearing headphones is illegal or not. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s the safest thing to do. Texas Transportation Code Section 545.401 states that a “driver commits the offense of dangerous driving if he or she drives with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others.” As we all know, driving while wearing headphones can divert a driver’s attention from the road, thereby increasing the chances of an accident occurring. 

Is Wearing Headphones While Driving Allowed in Illinois?

The state of Illinois does not permit drivers to wear headphones when they are driving. Having said that, however, there are a few exceptions to this rule. The Illinois law also allows you to use single-sided headphones or earphones, as well as a single cell phone earpiece. 

Can I Wear Headphones While Riding a Motorcycle?

If you were expecting the traffic and road rules to be any different for motorcyclists than they are for car drivers, you are in for disappointment. The law doesn’t change for anyone. Even bicyclists have to follow the same rules. After all, these rules are beneficial for you and ensure your safety.

Can I Wear BlueTooth Headphones While Driving?

Bluetooth headphones are also not allowed to be worn while driving. Just because they don’t have cables and wires attached to them doesn’t mean they cannot distract you when you are driving. Often, Bluetooth headphones and earphones have noise cancellation properties, and hence for this reason, you should avoid wearing such headphones while you are driving. In some states, any cell phone activity/communication is prohibited. 

Read Also: Can You Use Bluetooth Headphones on a Plane?

The Facts and Figures

The American Automobile Association (AAA) warns drivers and motorcyclists about the potential hazards of wearing headphones, earphones, or even Bluetooth earphones while driving. Cindy Antrican, a Public Affairs Manager for the AAA, stated that wearing earphones while driving could “intensify a person’s sensory deprivation and cognition distraction level.”

List of States That Allow Wearing Headphones While Driving

The following states permit you to wear headphones while driving: 

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Washington D.C.
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

On the other hand, the following states will not allow you to wear headphones while driving:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island 
  • Virginia 
  • Washington

To Sum It Up

Let’s be real; wearing headphones while driving isn’t exactly the smartest thing to do – after all, there are so many things that could go wrong in terms of safety. Studies have shown that often people get carried away while they are attending to a phone, or listening to music using their headphones while driving. On top of that, you could receive a citation for “driving dangerously and recklessly” or a driving ticket in certain states too. 

Of course, now with Bluetooth headphones and devices, it has become comparatively safer to use headphones while driving. There are, at times, certain situations when there is just no other option than to resort to using headphones. In such a case, it is crucial for you to follow strict road rules. We will leave you with an important note: “Just because it is legal, doesn’t mean that it’s safe.”

If you have any questions, doubts, or queries, feel free to drop a comment in our comment section below, and our experts will get back to you with an answer in no time. If there are any products you have in mind that you would like for us to review and compare, or any topic you think we should cover, do write to us!

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