Not everyone has a great stereo system in their cars, and even if they do, they may not have a way to enjoy some of their favorite songs when they are on the road. If this sounds like you, you may be tempted to use headphones while you drive. But should you actually do it?
Is It Legal?
First, is it even legal to do it? The answer is….it depends! Now, I can’t speak for other countries, but in the United States, the legality of headphones while driving varies state to state. However, it is legal to use headphones while driving. You can check out this list here to find out whether or not it is legal where you live.
Why You Shouldn’t Wear Them
Of course, just because you can use headphones where you live, doesn’t mean you should. Check out these reasons why you shouldn’t wear them while you drive.
When you are listening to music, you will be tempted to fiddle with your device that is powering your music. We all know the dangers of distracted driving and the dangers of cell phone use while navigating the roads. Don’t let your headphones tempt you to become the next statistic.
Can’t Hear External Noises
While you may think you really only need your vision when driving, think again. Believe it or not, you need use of your ears as well. Think about it. Sirens from emergency vehicles, other cars moving around you, and much more. Your hearing is every bit as important as your vision, but if you wear headphones, you will handicap one of your senses you need.
Limit Your Risk
If you simply must wear headphones while you drive, there are things you can do to limit your risk while you do it.
Turn Down the Volume
First, if you need to use your headphones while you drive, don’t crank up the volume. Try to get a balance between what you are listening to and what is going on around you so you are still aware of sirens and other external noises while you drive.
Only Wear One
One way you can get the best of both worlds, is to only wear one headphone at a time. By only wearing one ear bud or headphone, you can still hear the external noise around you to you can react if necessary.
Only Use If Necessary
Each time you decide to put in your headphones, first ask yourself if you really need to do it. Can you get away with just listening to the radio of your car or do you really need to use them at all? If the answer is no, consider going without them for that trip. If you do need to use them, make sure you follow the other safety precautions I already talked about above.
While using headphones while driving isn’t illegal everywhere, make sure you check your local area before you do it. When you do, try to take the precautions necessary to keep yourself safe and stay alert while you are using them. Do you use headphones in your car? Tell me about your experience in the comments below.