They are everywhere. The grocery store. The nail salon. Definitely at school. And sometimes I even see them on the road. It seems like we see headphones in every setting these days. With increased popularity in Bluetooth wireless headphones, there is no escaping them. I understand why.
They provide a way to keep your audio private. I’m sure everyone at the nail salon appreciates me sparing them from my podcasts. But perhaps my favorite part of the wireless headphones is that they leave my hands free to exercise, clean the house, or do anything else I want to do.
So, are there any downsides?
Did you know that it is not permissible to drive while wearing headphones or headsets in the state of Florida?
According to Florida Statutes 316.304, “No person shall operate a vehicle while wearing a headset, headphone, or other listening device, other than a hearing aid or instrument for the improvement of defective human hearing.”
There are some exceptions to this rule.
Some exceptions include those who are driving a motorcycle and wearing a helmet with speakers built in that prevent sound from making direct contact with the driver’s ears.
Drivers can also use a headset that is connected to a cellphone, so long as it only has sound in one ear, leaving the other ear available to hear surrounding sounds.
Can you see a pattern with these exceptions?
You need to be able to hear the sounds around you. That is because as a driver, your number one priority should be driving. You need to have your eyes and ears available to hear and see what is on the road.
Unplugging when you are on the road, including not texting, videochatting, or scrolling through social media is a way that you can keep yourself and the community safe.
If you are found to be in violation of the statute, it will be considered a nonmovable traffic infraction. So, while those headphones can be great in so many setting, unplug when you drive.