Is it Illegal to Wear Headphones While Driving in Florida?
Many drivers assume that they can handle multiple tasks at the same time without any loss of concentration, and that sometimes includes listening to music or talking on the phone through headphones while behind the wheel. In fact, being the driver you should be requires you to reduce and even eliminate distractions like headphones as much as possible. Therefore, every driver should understand that the dangers and risks involved with wearing earbuds or headphones have led to laws being enacted to regulate this voluntary and avoidable behavior.
Understanding the Law in Florida
Different states have their own laws when it comes to using headphones or earbuds while driving. Here in Florida, Statute 316.304 explicitly prohibits wearing a headset, headphone, or other listening device, other than a hearing aid or instrument for the improvement of defective human hearing, while operating a vehicle. And while your first thought may be to assume that the term “vehicle” only encompasses cars, think again. Another Florida statute makes it clear that bicycles are also included which means that earbuds should also be avoided while riding them. Therefore, comply with the law and avoid using headphones or earbuds in both ears while driving or biking. By doing so, you can help prevent an accident that could result in serious harm to you or someone else.
Exceptions to the Law
It is also noteworthy that the statute addressed above outlines some exceptions which include:
- Law enforcement officers and emergency vehicle operators acting within their duties
- Motorcyclists who use a headset that is installed in a helmet and worn so as to prevent the speakers from making direct contact with the user’s ears so that the user can still hear his or her surroundings
- Listening devices that are only worn in one ear for communicating with a central base operation or in conjunction with a cellular telephone
The Distinction Between What is Legal and What is Safe
Using headphones or earbuds while driving, even when utilized properly, can potentially create additional dangers on the roadways. It is also important to recognize that just because a motorist is lawfully using a listening device while driving does not mean that the driver cannot be responsible for a distracted driving accident. Even lawful behaviors can still cause distractions that result in a serious collision. And when a driver is found to have acted negligently in causing an accident that resulted in someone else being injured, he or she can be held responsible through a personal injury lawsuit.
Turn to Us for the Help You Need
When a person has been hurt in a crash caused by a distracted driver such as one who was wearing headphones, the victim may be entitled to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. In this circumstance, it makes the most sense to speak to Florida attorneys who have dealt with these matters before. As the Miami personal injury attorneys at the Pendas Law Firm, we understand how frustrating it is when victims like you are left to deal with injuries unexpectedly that you could not have prevented and are not responsible for. Reach out to us for help today.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Orlando, Jacksonville, Ocala, Bradenton, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Tampa and Daytona Beach areas.