Wearing Headphones While Driving, Yes or No?
You get in the car prepared to head somewhere. You strap up, adjust your mirrors, and then go to turn on the radio – it doesn’t work. While you’re annoyed that’s another thing to add to the “fix-up” list, you figure you can just wear your headphones for the time being. Well, if you live in Florida or Georgia then you can be ticketed for wearing headphones while driving. Laws and exceptions for wearing headphones on the road vary state by state, so it’s important to know where your state stands.
- Single-sided headphones used for phone calls
Even if wearing headphones isn’t illegal in your state, it can still be a serious form of distracted driving. Listening to audio through a headset cuts off your ability to hear outside noises. This can cause you not to hear other cars honking as a warning, hear passengers in your own vehicle alerting you to danger, or the sirens of an emergency vehicle. You can also put your own safety at risk by missing warning sounds of mechanical issues within your vehicle.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every day, eight people die due to distracted driving in the United States. There are three types of distractions including visual, manual, and cognitive. Driving with headphones can result in all three of these distractions since you will take your eyes off the road and hands off the wheel when you go to change the song on the device your headphones are connected to. AAA Public Affairs Manager, Cindy Antrican, also says that wearing these listening devices while driving could intensify a person’s sensory deprivation and cognition distraction level.
Penalties for driving with headphones:
- Florida – $150.00 fine
- Georgia – First conviction: $50, one point on a license; Second conviction: $100, two points on a license; Third and subsequent convictions: $150, three points on a license.
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