Wearing Headphones While Driving: Is it Legal?

How many times have you seen someone driving with headphones on, singing along to their favorite song? Maybe it makes you chuckle. But what if I told you that this person is a ticking time bomb waiting to happen? Drivers wearing headphones are a higher safety hazard to themselves and those around them on the road. When headphones appear to be such a deadly distraction, it’s only fair to ask whether it’s legal to wear them when driving.

Is Wearing Headphones While Driving Legal?

Do you often wear headphones while driving? You might be surprised to learn that not all states have the same law about wearing them. In some states, it is illegal for the driver to wear a headset, headphone set, or other listening devices if either earphone is in or over both ears. Some other states don’t bother about it. In other states, it’s legal as long as the audio can’t be heard by those around you and doesn’t interfere with your ability to hear traffic noises.

Wearing headphones is straight-up illegal when you are driving in states like California, Virginia, Minnesota, or Washington. However, it’s completely legal in Texas, New Jersey, Montana, and various other states. In fact, only a few states have criminalized it, while it’s legal or partially legal in all other states.

driving with headphones
Is driving with headphones in legal? (Image RAC)

States like Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Colorado do not permit it unless you are taking a phone call in one ear. In Arizona, everyone can wear headphones while driving, except for school bus drivers and child care providers.
So, you should better check the laws in your state before deciding to put on headphones on the road.

Should You Wear Headphones During Driving, Even If It’s Legal?

Wearing headphones while driving is a controversial topic. Some people argue that it’s not safe and can lead to accidents. Other people argue that it doesn’t matter if you’re wearing headphones or not, as long as your focus is on the road ahead of you.

The laws vary from state to state — some states allow drivers to wear headphones, others prohibit them completely. However, even if it’s legal in the state you live in, you should avoid using headphones for listening to music, at least on both ears.

That’s because drivers can’t hear anything around them when they’re wearing headphones. They don’t hear horns honking or emergency sirens blaring. In general, it is very distracting to have your ears filled with music instead of being able to hear what’s going on around you. It also makes it more difficult for a driver to react quickly if needed because they may not hear an important sound or warning from another vehicle.


Everything will only lead to accidents and near misses, which all have fatal consequences for drivers and their passengers. As more people drive with their ears plugged, the number of accidents will only continue to rise unless we take action now!


Wearing headphones while driving is legal in most USA states. However, you should still be conscious of the danger of doing this. If possible, avoid it due to the risks it poses to pedestrians and other drivers alike.