Wearing Headphones While Driving is Dangerous

Wearing Headphones While Driving is Dangerous

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is warning about the dangers and risks involved with wearing earbuds, headphones, or the wireless earbuds while driving, telling motorists it could potentially create additional dangers on the roadways.

Cindy Antrican, Public Affairs Manager for AAA, said that wearing these listening devices while driving could intensify a person’s sensory deprivation and cognition distraction level. She added that distracted driving laws have not kept pace with the changing technology and many drivers are clueless what is legal or illegal regarding wearing headphones while operating a vehicle.

There are even earplugs that have noise cancellation acoustical technology and this could be a major problem as you may not hear significant sounds or cues for driving safely, such as the sirens of approaching emergency service vehicles and other road warnings.

This distraction caused by the use of electronic devices has been coined as “inattentional blindness” by the researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.

Statistics

  • One of every 10 deadly crashes in the U.S. involves distraction.
  • A recent study revealed that eight people are killed every day by distracted driving, and six of those are teens.
  • In a 2012 survey, it was found out that using portable music players is one of the “most commonly performed potentially distracting behaviors while driving.”
  • In 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that distraction was a factor of about 10% of all fatal motor vehicle crashes and 18% of all crashes causing injury.

No Restrictions
The AAA Digest of Motor Laws revealed that there are 14 states that implement restrictions on wearing earbuds, earplugs, or earphones while driving. Out of those, only four states have complete bans. This rule, however, is not without exceptions. One exception is if you’re hearing impaired.

It is not illegal for drivers to wear earphones in Kentucky. But, as a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I believe that it should be. While we can argue that wearing earphones and listening to music while driving can enable you to focus on the road, we cannot ignore the fact that doing this may prevent you from hearing road sounds that could save your life and others’ lives as well.

The deaths caused by distracted driving keep on increasing and it has been a deadly epidemic  on the road for years already. It’s about time that we should do something impactful, especially now that smartphones make it easier for us to stay connected at all times.

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