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Villarreal & Begum Law Firm May 18, 2020

Is it Illegal to Wear Headphones While Driving?

Although headphones may provide some form of entertainment while on the road, they can be a danger to both the driver and those around them. It is important for drivers to consider the implications of using headphones before choosing to wear them. The matter of whether it is illegal to wear headphones while driving varies state to state. 

Does Texas Law Prohibit Headset Use While Driving?

The state of Texas does not have a set rule against wearing headphones while driving. However, you may be ticketed if you engage in distracted driving or fail to yield to an emergency vehicle because you didn’t hear the sirens. 

dangers of wearing ear buds while driving

Why Headphones and Earbuds are Dangerous for Drivers

Any type of obstruction to your sense of hearing can detract from a person’s ability to drive safely. Headphones and earbuds in particular, reduce a driver’s situational awareness. Surrounding noises can be blocked out, and it is critical to be able to hear while on the road. If, for example, your vehicle begins to exhibit mechanical problems, there are traffic noises such as honking, emergency sirens, and more.

Accidents are more likely to occur when a driver’s ability to respond to danger is limited, especially when it is not immediately visible. A driver whose attention is on anything other than the road, can lead to serious injuries for both themselves and the occupants of other vehicles. 

It only takes a moment while a driver is distracted for the vehicle in front of them to suddenly brake or for a pedestrian to run onto the road. Approximately 80 percent of car crashes are attributed to a driver being distracted or not paying attention. 

Consequences of Wearing Headphones While Driving

If you have an accident while wearing headphones, it’s more likely you would be considered at fault. Since Texas is a “fault” state, the person responsible for an accident is liable for any resulting damages and injuries caused by the collision. 

Where Is It Illegal To Wear Headphones While Driving?

The following states have strict laws against the use of headphones, earbuds, or headsets while driving, and have few exceptions: 

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

These states have various exceptions, such as allowing an ear bud in one ear for hands-free navigational purposes. Local laws can and should be checked for the exact language. In most of the other states not listed, it is legal to wear headphones while driving.  

Injured? Contact a San Antonio Car Accident Attorney

At the Villarreal & Begum Law Firm, we have extensive knowledge of how insurance companies work and will fight for your legal rights if you have been injured in an accident. Our San Antonio car accident lawyers understand how stressful it can be, especially if you are unable to work and facing a mountain of medical bills. With our assistance, we will help get your life headed in the right direction. Get in touch with our San Antonio office by calling (210) 777-4878, and schedule a free consultation, so we may answer any questions you have.