Can I use headphones when driving?

distracted_drivingIt may seem harmless. Listening to a podcast with the earbuds on during a long commute. Or jamming to a little 90’s hip hop to wake you up before the coffee kicks in. Using a hands free device might even seem helpful. It helps keep your hands on “ten and two”, right? Unfortunately, headphones and earbuds can take your attention away from the environment around you and cause you to be a distracted driver. And because of that, laws either prohibit or restrict their use in many states.

Rules surrounding the use of headphones while driving fall into three categories, states that allow you to use headphones while driving in most situations, states that do not allow you use headphones while driving and states that allow you to use headphones but with several restrictions. Currently, 32 states and the District of Columbia allow drivers to use headphones while driving. In Colorado, Louisiana, Maryland and Rhode Island, it’s illegal to use headphones and earbuds while driving in most, if not all circumstances.

In Florida, drivers are prohibited from having headphones or earbuds in both ears while driving. They are, however, allowed to have them in one ear. The same is true in California, Minnesota, New York, and Ohio. In Alaska, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington there are a number of variations on the rule that depend on the type of device being used, and in some cases, the county that you are driving through. For a specific breakdown of rules involving driving with headphones or earbuds, visit this collaborative article by Lifehacker and AAA:

With so many vehicles driving on the roadways each day, safety and focus are critical. Anything that takes away from that greatly increases you chances of a crash. If you were involved in an auto crash due to a distracted driver, contact the personal injury attorneys at McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito, P.A. right away. They can evaluate your case and help you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at 844-511-4800.