Are Hands-Free Headphones Safe While Driving?
The use of hands-free headphones while driving has become a hot topic lately, with people on both sides of the debate. The concern is that drivers will be distracted by music or talking into their phones and not paying attention to the road in front of them. There have been some studies done on this topic, but there are too many variables to say for sure if it is safe or not, so we need more research before coming up with an answer. It is best to err on the safe side and avoid any potentially distracting and dangerous activities while driving.
Is it Legal to Use Hands-Free Headphones While Driving?
Some states have laws stating that drivers can't use any hand-held device while driving, but many others don’t. There are exceptions for emergency calls or when the vehicle is stopped and in the park with the engine off.
In Florida, according to Florida Statutes 316.304, titled “Wearing of headsets,” it's not permissible for drivers to wear headsets, headphones, or any other similar devices while operating a motor vehicle. The only exception is hearing aids worn by people with legal disabilities.
Why Was This Law Created?
The law was created because there has been a significant increase in traffic accidents and deaths involving persons who were wearing headsets, headphones, or other listening devices. Generally, lawmakers believe that these devices will prevent you from hearing traffic noises that will make it more possible to become a defensive driver on the road. Rightfully so, talking on the phone and listening to music has been proven to distract drivers, albeit for a small period of time.
What are the Alternatives?
There are alternatives to the use of headsets, headphones, or other listening devices. One study found that drivers using hands-free Bluetooth devices were less distracted than those who talked on their cell phones without it. Therefore, this might be worth looking into if you are worried about safety while driving.
You may want to look into your local laws before deciding what's safe for you and illegal in your area. Some municipalities have stricter rules than others when it comes to these types of activities, so check with your state first before purchasing a Bluetooth device.
Will Police Officers Enforce These Laws?
In accordance with the law, police officers will pull you over and give you a ticket if they see you using a hands-free headset while driving. Therefore, you should avoid using these devices while driving to avoid unnecessary fines.
If you have been involved in a vehicular accident that was caused by a driver wearing hands-free headphones, then you'll need to hire a Tampa personal injury lawyer immediately. Doing so will help you build a case immediately and win damages in the aftermath of a car accident that was caused due to no fault of your own.
Contact a Tampa and Sarasota Distracted Driving Attorney
The law in Florida is clear about the illegal use of hands-free headphones while driving. If you have been involved in a car accident and need the help of a reputable personal injury law firm, then Matthews Injury Law can help. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your upcoming case.