Some states outright ban wearing headphones while driving, and others allow driving with an earpiece in a single ear. Kentucky has no laws banning headphone use while driving, but that does not mean it is always a good idea to do so. Headphones could distract a driver, and distractions could cause car, bike or pedestrian accidents. Legal claims might then follow.
Wearing headsets behind the wheel
Some drivers point out reasons why they wear headsets while on the road. The “hands-free benefits” might be one, but a voice-activated touchscreen and speaker system could serve the same purpose. A vehicle’s multimedia setup may not require the driver to put anything in his or her ear, either.
Ultimately, there are some risks present when a driver wears a headset. Is the driver capable of hearing what is going on inside and outside the vehicle? Not hearing verbal warnings about objects in the road or failing to hear the sounds of a crash around a bend might lead to disaster.
Liabilities and headsets
Wearing a headset could contribute to motor vehicle accidents. Listening to music or carrying on a conversation when driving could create distractions even when not using a headset, and with a headset on, the distractions might be worse. Distracted driving could dull someone’s reactions and perceptions, increasing the chance of a collision. Distracted drivers might not pay attention to road conditions, their speed or other drivers and pedestrians. Road safety could diminish as a result.
Headsets force drivers to multitask as they must drive the car while carrying on a conversation or listening to audio. Manually adjusting the headset means taking hands off the wheel.
A driver’s decision to wear a headset could factor heavily in a liability case. As a result, the driver could have a tough time avoiding negligence claims in court.