Most people walk around these days constantly wearing earbuds or headphones. While it is dangerous enough to do this on foot, wearing headphones while driving can be a dangerous distraction and cause serious collisions.
Why is wearing headphones while driving so dangerous?
Wearing headphones or earbuds while driving can distract you in two critical ways:
- They can prevent you from being able to hear what is going on in your surroundings. This can prevent you from avoiding danger. This is an auditory distraction. If you cannot hear emergency vehicle sirens, honking horns, or other background sounds, you are putting yourself and other road users at risk.
- Whatever you are listening to through your headphones can take your mind and attention away from the road. This is a cognitive distraction.
It may seem as though wearing headphones while driving is no more dangerous than listening to the radio or your MP3 player. After all, listening to the radio also creates both auditory and cognitive distractions; however, wearing headphones has the capability of blocking out all sound aside from what is playing through the headphones.
What is the law on wearing headphones while driving in Georgia?
Distracted driving is a huge problem. Unfortunately, state laws are doing a mediocre job at best of keeping up with developments in technology that can lead to distracted driving. Only five states have laws that ban wearing headphones while driving.
GA Code § 40-6-250 prohibits drivers from wearing headsets or headphones that would impair a person's ability to hear. The statute does allow a person to wear a headset or headphone for communication purposes.
So, if it is illegal, why do people still do it?
Even though wearing headphones while driving is obviously unsafe, and as the Dayton Daily News wrote “disregards logic,” many people still do it.
Drivers might drive with headphones in not knowing that it is illegal or not realizing exactly how unsafe this behavior is.
Some drivers know how unsafe the behavior is and just do not care.
What does this mean for my car accident claim?
Regardless of whether the driver knew driving with headphones in was illegal, he was still breaking the law and behaving negligently, and as such, will likely still be liable for your accident if his headphone use caused or contributed to the accident.
To prove another driver is liable for an accident, you need to prove s/he was behaving negligently at the time of the collision. Because wearing headphones while driving is illegal, you can claim negligence per se, e.g., violation of a law or statute makes a person negligent.
To prove the other person was wearing headphones, you will need evidence such as eyewitness testimony or surveillance video. We can help you recover this and any other evidence you need.
If you have been injured in an auto accident involving a driver who was wearing headphones, contact the Law Office of Jason R Schultz, P.C.
Call 404-474-0804 today to schedule your free consultation with a car accident attorney.