Headphones and Driving: What You Should Know

Last Edited: November 6, 2016 | Published: November 6, 2016 by


Distracted driving continues to be a huge problem in the United States. Because of this, many states have passed rules keeping drivers off their cell phones. This means that many drivers have decided to use headphones while in the car that way they can talk and keep their hands and eyes on the road. Not a bad move, but you still have to be careful. Today we will take a quick look at what you should know about using headphones while in the car.

Rules Vary State to State

Much like the cell phone rules, headphone rules while driving vary state to state. Some states have no restrictions on their use while others are more specific. For example, in some cases you can only use headphones in one ear. Make sure to check what the rules are in your local area.

Headphones Can Still Distract

Headphones are great at drowning out noise around you. This means that you may not hear that car honking at you before it is too late. At the same time, you can still get lost in what you are listening to and not pay full attention to what is going on around you. If you are allowed to use headphones in your area, then you are still responsible for being alert when you are driving. If something does happen, you could face stiffer penalties because you were distracted.

Headphones Won’t Prevent Phone Fiddling

Laugh if you must at the title above, but the fact is just because headphones are in your ears doesn’t mean you won’t be tempted to pick up that phone and send a text or even change the song you are listening to. Remember, in many areas using your cell phone like this even when you have headphones in your ear is still considered distracted driving and you could face a hefty fine if you are caught phone in hand while you are driving.

Ear Damage

Headphones are known to cause ear damage if you listen too loudly. This is a bigger temptation in the car because of the noise around you. Add to that the confined space you are in, and you have a recipe for potential ear damage later. If you do listen to headphones in the car, make sure you turn it down a little bit to prevent ear damage while you are listening. Oh and don’t be tempting to turn it up and down on your smartphone once you are moving, as that is also considered distracted driving.

Final Thoughts

While you must make sure it is legal to use them in your area, headphones are great tools in the car especially if you need to make a call. They keep your hands free and help you eliminate distractions. However, they aren’t perfect. They can damage your ear and they won’t prevent you from being distracted. In some cases, they can cause distractions of their own. When using them in a vehicle, remember that you are responsible when you are behind the wheel. If you fail in that responsible, someone could end up hurt or worse. So use them responsibly so no one gets hurt.

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