Headphones While Driving
Driving is about focusing on the road, but you may want to be able to listen to music or a podcast at the same time. However, using headphones while driving is unsafe in nearly all situations, and it means it is best for you to avoid doing so. When you have headphones or earphones in while you are behind the wheel, you could be putting other people at risk. You may cause an accident to occur. In some states, it is illegal to wear headphones while driving. Here is what you need to know about these risks.
Car Headphones – What’s the Risk of Driving with Headphones?
Why are car headphones a bad idea? They do not have to be a bad idea for those in the car with you. However, driving with headphones is risky for those who are behind the wheel. When you place them over your ears, you are unable to hear what is happening around you. Even inferior products that do not block out all of the sound can cause the same risk to you.
In some states, it is illegal to drive with headphones in. This includes earbuds, which may fit into the ear themselves. Any type of noise-canceling headphones should not be used by the driver. This includes any type of headphone that can broadcast sound or those that receive sounds from your radio or other devices such as a cell phone.
When you place these over your ears, you are unable to hear other sounds projected through them, and that puts you at risk. Any time your ability to hear is diminished due to the use of these types of devices, it becomes essential for you not to use them.
Are Helmet Headphones or Motorcycle Headphones Safe?
Those who ride motorcycles may find a variety of helmet headphones and motorcycle headphones available to them. These devices allow you to communicate with other motorcycle riders in your group or to tap into other broadcasts. This is one of the more common ways to communicate while on the road, but it still presents a risk.
When possible, avoid the use of motorcycle headphones and helmets like this. If you do need to use them for communication, be extra vigilant of your surroundings. Many people on motorcycles cannot hear a great deal of sound around them, but not being able to hear a car horn or an approaching ambulance is dangerous. Avoid limiting your ability to hear like this to protect yourself and others on the roadways with you.
Can You Use Headphones with a Mic in the Car?
Perhaps you have a long list of things to do, and you want to wrap up that business meeting while you are driving. It seems logical, but it really can be a risk factor. The use of headphones with a mic can put you at risk just like other products. In fact, because you may be engaging in an important topic, you may find it even harder to focus on the road. It is not illegal to drive with a mic like this, but it needs to be clear from your ear to allow you to hear while you are operating a vehicle. If it does not, you should choose to ride as a passenger in the vehicle instead.
How to Choose Headphones While Driving
Should you choose to wear headphones while driving, there are a few things to remember. First, be sure it is not illegal to do this. Second, if you are able to do so, choose those that are not noise-canceling. You need to be able to hear what is happening around you. Additionally, consider choosing those models that are designed to fit into just one ear. This way, you can still hear what is happening in the car and around your vehicle out of the other ear.
What Your Auto Insurer Wants You to Know About Wired and Wireless Headphones
The use of wired or wireless headphones, with a mic or without, is a risk factor to driving. When you are focused on anything other than the road in front of you, you could be less capable of reacting quickly if something on the road changes. For example, you may not hear the semi blaring a horn at you. You may not be able to react fast enough to the animal that is in the roadway because you are engaged in a heated conversation over your Bluetooth microphone.
Whenever possible, avoid using headphones while driving. Choose to wear them when you are a passenger in the vehicle or when you have the time to communicate with others more fully. You do not want to face a reckless driving charge for distracted driving. That could include fines and other penalties and an increase in your auto insurance costs, too.