When you have a long commute or road trip you must get through, you probably listen to the radio, podcasts or a playlist to pass the time. While there may be nothing inherently unwise about turning on your car’s stereo, you should think twice before reaching for a pair of headphones.
Distracted driving continues to be a common and deadly problem on U.S. roadways. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine Americans die every single day in distracted-driving accidents. Wearing headphones is one type of distracted driving.
Headphones are illegal in many places
In 17 states, it is illegal for drivers to wear headphones. Regrettably, Indiana is not one of these states. The Hoosier State does prohibit distracted driving, though. Put simply, any activities that divert your attention from the task of driving may be unlawful in Indiana.
Headphones can be dangerous
To drive safely and responsibly, you must be able to hear the sounds your vehicle makes. You also need to listen for sirens and other external noises. Because headphones can mask these sounds, wearing them can increase your chances of having a potentially catastrophic motor vehicle accident. Moreover, the music or podcasts playing through your headphones also can distract you mentally.
Even though you can take steps to maintain complete focus every time you drive, other motorists are not so conscientious. Ultimately, if you suffer a significant injury in an accident with a driver who is wearing headphones, you may have grounds to pursue valuable financial compensation.