Can I Use Headphones While Driving?

At Jones & Swanson, our primary area of legal representation is automobile accidents. When the driver or passengers of a motor vehicle are injured due to another vehicle’s negligence, we believe the responsible party should be held liable.

Many times, these automobile and tractor trailer crashes occur because a driver was operating a vehicle while distracted. Driving distracted is one of the highest causes of Georgia auto accidents, mainly because there are so many actions that fall into the “distracted driving” category. For instance, text messaging or talking on the phone is a form of distracted driving. Eating or changing the radio station can also be forms of distracted driving. Because of technological advancements in recent years, there are a variety of methods that a driver can be distracted by while operating a vehicle.

An action not commonly thought of as dangerous while driving is using headphones or earbuds while behind the wheel of an automobile. Some drivers use earbuds/headphones to listen to music while driving. Others use them as Bluetooth devices to talk on the phone while operating a vehicle, as it allows their concentration to remain on the roadway if they do not have to look at their cellphones. IN many states, the use of headphones and earbuds while driving is not regulated or prohibited. In Georgia, however, Ga. Code § 40-6-250 states that any device that impairs hearing or vision is prohibited while operating a motor vehicle. The statute exempts earbuds or headsets that are used for purposes of communicating. Essentially, the statute is meant to protect Georgia roadways from drivers who cannot hear what is going on around them. For instance, drivers should be able to hear the honking of other vehicles’ horns in the event of an emergency. They should also be able to hear sirens of approaching emergency vehicles so that they can clear the way. There are a variety of instances in which it is imperative that a Georgia driver be able to hear their surroundings. Even bicyclists and pedestrians should think twice before traveling with earbuds or headphones that prevent hearing the environment around them. The ability to hear approaching motor vehicles may be the only prevention to a serious, life-threatening bicycle or pedestrian accident.

Because we deal with victims of Georgia auto accidents every day, we understand the importance of Georgia roadway safety. It only takes an instant of distraction to cause a serious accident that could change the lives involved tragically. If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of another person’s negligence in a Georgia car accident, contact the injury lawyers at Jones & Swanson today for a free consultation.