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Dangers Of Driving With Headphones And Earbuds

Highway Safety News | September 14th, 2016

In the state of Pennsylvania the law states that wearing or using one or more headphones or earphones is not permitted while driving. Exempts the use of hearing aids, and the use of a headset in conjunction with a cellular telephone that only provides sound through one ear and allows surrounding sounds to be heard with the other ear.

With the announcement of the new AirPods, the wireless earbuds just introduced by Apple, AAA Mid-Atlantic wants to remind people that wearing earbuds or headphones while driving could intensify your sensory deprivation and cognitive distraction level, potentially creating additional dangers on our roadways.

“Unfortunately, distracted driving laws haven’t kept pace with the changing technology and some drivers don’t have a clue what is legal or illegal regarding headphones while driving or operating a vehicle,” says  Jana L. Tidwell, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Wearing earbuds could also increase your risk factor on the road if you are wearing them over or in both ears. Some models have noise cancellation acoustical technology, which may cause you to miss some important cues for driving safely.

“Distracted hearing could impact your level of concentration and prevent you from hearing the sirens of approaching emergency vehicles, and even background noise like horns or railroad warnings, putting you and other road users at risk,” adds Tidwell.