Ever since Bluetooth earpieces and wireless headphones came onto the market, drivers have utilized them for a better approach to hands-free driving. However, there have been many conversations over if it is truly better to use these types of devices over using a phone. Drivers can still be distracted with the use of headphones and earpieces, so using them wisely can make all the difference in driving abilities.
There are sounds that drivers need to pay attention to while driving like emergency vehicle sirens, honking from other drivers, and even sounds to let you know if something is wrong with your vehicle. If you have headphones on both ears, hearing is seriously restricted and you may not be aware of these noises.
One way that drivers stay safer is to use their earpieces in one ear or only wear one wireless earbud or headphone. This allows a driver to still listen to conversations and music while keeping one ear out for important sounds. The biggest concern is whether the driver is distracted. The reason talking on the phone while driving is dangerous is because the driver is not focusing on the road. Listening to loud music or an audio book could also distract a driver, even if they have one ear free. Safe driving is dependent on a driver focusing on the road, always.
Every state has a different law regarding the use of headphones and earpieces. Many do not have any laws restricting their use allow one ear to be used while the other is kept open and free of devices. In Washington, the law states that any headset or earphones that connect to an electronic device that muffles or excludes other sounds is not permitted while driving. Visit this AAA site for a full list of states and their laws regarding earpieces and headphones.
Whether it is legal or not, it is always important to use technology safely while driving. With so many driving safety features being built into vehicles for safer use, make a point to utilize them. Hook your phone or electronic device up to your dashboard and listen to music and audio books through the speakers. Make any necessary phone calls through your vehicle’s Bluetooth capabilities. Just make sure everything is hooked up and functioning before shifting the car into drive.