As you may know, many of us wear headphones to listen to music when we are driving – me included. Unless you drive a brand new car, the sound system may be crappy compared to what you’d get with your headphones. What many people may not know though, is that in many states, it is actually illegal to do so. So, where is it illegal to wear headphones or ear buds?
Alaska, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington
If you don’t live in any of these states, you’re good to go, but if you do, you’re actually breaking the law and subject to penalties if the police happen to catch you. Other states may allow the use of headphones in certain circumstances only, such as with Bluetooth headsets, or if the headphones are built into a motorcycle helmet. To be honest, it is not very surprising to me that many states have completely banned the use of headphones.
If you have a big pair bulky, noise-cancelling headphones, with a cord floppin’ around while you drive, it probably can be very distracting. Also, you must be able to hear emergency vehicles’ sirens. I’ve tried some headsets that had “active noise cancellation technology” and let me tell you, they do exactly what it implies. There is no way you would be able to hear sirens in case of an emergency. Also, if you are using a cheap pair of headphones with a cable that is constantly getting tangled and snagged, that is another problem entirely. How can you safely drive if A you can’t hear what is going on around you, and B your crappy cable is getting snagged on your steering wheel or shifter every thirty seconds. Either you have to get some wireless Bluetooth headphones, or make sure you buy some good quality ear buds with a tangle-free cable.
For many of us, it is much cheaper to just buy a good pair of earphones than to spend a huge amount of cash in buying a decent sound system for our car. For less than two-hundred dollars, you can buy some very high quality headphones. A decent sound system can be anywhere from eight-hundred ranging into the thousands of dollars. Even though it may be frowned upon in certain states, sometimes it is just more economical to buy a good pair of headphones or ear buds, that are not active noise cancelling, and are advertised as a tangle free cable. I just stumbled across an article which actually reviews the exact pair of headphones I use while driving, the RHA T10i in-ear headphones. They’re actually more like ear buds than headphones; they don’t wrap around your head or ears. I’ve had these for quite some time now. They cost me around two-hundred dollars and they’re great. No tangling, no bulk, and I can hear just enough noise around me so I can safely drive. Also, for those of you living in states where headphones and driving are a big no no, the T10i’s are small enough where it is highly unlikely law enforcement would give you a problem. Just be responsible, don’t blast your music, and pay attention to the road and you should be fine.