Although wearing headphones while driving a car isn’t technically illegal, this is definitely a very dangerous activity as it increases your risk for car accidents and other serious injuries.
In this article, we will discuss why it is so dangerous to drive a car while wearing headphones, how it can cause serious car injuries and a few of the instances where it is okay to wear headphones while on the road.
Driving with Headphones On
Whether you’re using headphones to listen to some music while on the road, maybe because your car stereo was broken, or maybe there’s no way you can connect your phone to your car speakers, or you simply just saw someone with headphones on while driving, it is incredibly a bad idea and you should not do it in any circumstances.
Wearing headphones behind the steering wheel lowers your sensory input, particularly your hearing, thus putting yourself and other drivers in danger. You may not have realized how important it is to hear your external environment when you drive, but from the simple horns honking to brakes screeching, we heavily rely on sound to effectively make different driving decisions. Headphones remove or reduce these external sounds out of the equation, thus increasing your risks for a car accident.
As drivers, we should always be alert about what’s happening around us. And by using headphones, we are likely to become less aware of our surrounding which can eventually get us or other drivers into serious trouble.
Don’t make this lame excuse that you’ve already done this several times and never met an accident. In some areas, driving while your headphones are on is illegal. Even though you may find this ridiculous, but it’s better to check the laws in your state and be safe while driving.
Of course, like what we always say, all rules have exceptions. If in case your headphones are designed to improve your hearing ability or if you are using navigational tools that require wearing of headphones, then you could possibly use them without risks.
Wearing Bluetooth headphones or an earpiece to answer the phone while you’re driving is also perfectly fine rather than holding your phone to your ear when someone is on the line. In fact, this is much preferred and safer as it allows you to use both of your hands when you drive.
Several Tips and Alternatives to Wearing Headphones while Driving
There are a lot of ways you can do to completely protect yourself and other drivers from potential accidents caused by using headphones while driving. Here are some:
Don’t use your headphones while driving
While this is a very entertaining luxury, using headphones while driving is what this whole article is about. Listening to music sure is fun but it gives risks especially when you listen to it via headphones. Aside from the fact that headphones impede your ability to hear traffic sounds, a headphone cable can tangle up and present hazards while you steer. Weigh the consequences over its benefits and you’ll definitely come up with the solution not to use headphones when driving.
Fix your car stereo
Using car stereo is one way to ensure you and your passengers enjoy their ride to their destination. However, one major reason why drivers opt to wear their headphones while driving is because their stereos in the car are broken. Taking care of your car and all the things inside it is essential for you to be safe and at the same time, enjoy your whole driving experience.
Use your phone’s or iPod’s built-in speakers
This is a very cost-effective solution if you want to listen to some music and you want to avoid using headphones while driving your car. Although it may not give an excellent sound quality that you like, well, at least you’re safe from accidents and so as other people around you.
Use portable speakers
Forget that your car stereo was broken. The next potential, but costly solution you can make is to use portable speakers. In case there is no other way you can repair your car stereo, you can also bring portable speakers in your car so you can connect your phone or iPod to it. There are lots of high end portable speakers in the market that comes in different sizes and features. Portable speakers even brings excellent sound quality inside your car although it requires some serious investment if you want to own one.
Use only one headphone on your ear so the other one is free
Using only one side of your headphone makes your other ear free, so you can still hear your external environment. Although this is legally unacceptable or arguable in some areas since this still means you are boldly using headphones while driving, this practice allows you to hear sirens, honking of horns and all other things using your one ear. However, this should be the last in your options and this shouldn’t be your solution as it still puts you to some road risks.
Don’t drive alone
Sometimes, if you’re up to a long drive and you’re bored, the only solution we can think of is to play some music to prevent us from getting sleepy on the road. However, even without music, this problem can be solved if we have a companion—a friend or someone we can talk to while we drive. A good travel must have good companions with good conversations with them. With that, you won’t even be needing music to brighten up the mood inside your car.
Furthermore, there are lots of ways you can do to avoid road hazards brought by using headphones. Don’t let this practice become your natural habit since this definitely puts you into legal consequences and potential dangers. Use some of these alternatives or find some of your own to resist the headphone temptation. The best solution is to put this in mind: In whatever you do, make sure to take and follow the law and think about your safety, including the safety of other people around you.