Earbuds while driving: Is it A dangerous Idea?

man driving while wearing earphones

The debate over earbuds while driving is not the latest one and I reckon some of your friends or family members are on opposite ends of the issue.

We’ve been part of those back and forth arguments where Some argue that it’s safer for drivers to use some form of audio entertainment, while others say this takes one’s mind off the road making everything more dangerous than it has to be.

It could be that there’s always a danger when operating any type of machinery, but is this a more dangerous practice?

Let’s find out in this article…

How Can Earbuds Distract Drivers?

I know how easy the question sounds but the answer is way more complicated. The world is growing significantly faster and due to heavy population, people are spending a great amount of time in traffic.

In this situation, it’s convenient for people to close heavy deals on the phone while driving or talking to their lost distant partners, or even though cars have good speakers some people still prefer listening to music on Earbuds but the question still arrives is it worth the risk answer is no definitely while driving if you’re on an important call or even Vibing your favorite music it plays major role distracting the driver. yet most people still avoid the risk.

But if you follow the safety measures and keep a low sound, you can minimize the risk.

What about one earbud only

Two earbuds block the sound from the outside world and heavy sound can also cause distraction in this situation you might wanna consider using a single earbud’

Which is also a useful option you can take your important calls and also enjoy your music single earbud won’t be much distracting compared to both earbuds. so if have an urgent need of using earbuds while driving using a single earbud is a smart move you must consider.

What if I’m using earbuds for my navigation app?

navigation app

Nowadays most cars have inbuilt GPS maps services still due to heavy traffic sounds and other distractions it’s too difficult to drive and look at the GPS at the same time you might miss the turn.

In this situation using earbuds might be a smart move but you must not ignore the risk. so it’ll safe if you use only a single earbud and try to keep a low sound and you’re good to go.

What are the Laws?

  • Before you start driving with earbuds, make sure you know the local laws. In some states and cities, it’s completely illegal to drive while wearing earbuds or headphones—whether or not your phone is in a hands-free mode.
  • If you’re going to be wearing earbuds while driving, be aware of your surroundings and other drivers’ behavior. If someone honks at you or makes another gesture, pull over as soon as possible so that they can pass safely.
  • A good rule of thumb is to only wear earbuds while driving if there are no other vehicles sharing the road with yours (for example: if your vehicle is parked). If no one else is around for miles upon miles ahead, then by all means keep listening to whatever music suits your fancy!

Is it Legal to Drive and Wear Earbuds?

Most states allow for one ear to be covered, but some only allow for the left ear. This can make it difficult to listen to directions from your GPS or an audiobook while driving. Fourteen states allow both ears to be covered, but there are some exceptions: New York, Louisiana and Arizona do not allow any type of headgear while driving.

In addition, New York requires drivers wearing headphones or earbuds on a highway outside city limits to have a hands-free device in order for them not to be considered distracted behind the wheel.

You should try to avoid wearing earbuds while driving

Earbuds are not the same as headphones. Earbuds are designed to sit in your ear canal and provide a more intimate listening experience than a pair of on or over-the-ear headphones, which can become uncomfortable after extended use and also don’t block out as much external sound.

If you’re driving with earbuds in and something happens—maybe there’s an accident, maybe you need to pull over suddenly—you won’t be able to hear what’s going on around you quickly enough. Even if you do manage to hear something, it may not be clear enough for you to react properly, especially if it’s an unfamiliar sound like a horn honking or another driver yelling at someone else who cut them off.

FAQs Related to this Topic:

Can earbuds be used when driving?

There’s no law against driving while wearing headphones. But as headphones are usually connected to some external device, like a mobile phone, other laws can apply. In the case your headphones aren’t plugged into anything, you’re not in any trouble. As a simple fashion accessory, headphones pose no inherent danger.

Why using earphones while driving is dangerous?

Listening to music on headphones, earbuds, or the latest wireless “thingy,” on your ears while driving is a distraction and a traffic safety issue

Can I use Bluetooth headphones while driving?

You can use a Bluetooth hands-free headset to make and receive phone calls, provided you do not need to use your phone to do so. The device must not block your view or be distracting. You must stay in control of your vehicle, and police can stop and fine you if they think that you are not

Are AirPods illegal to drive in the UK?

In the UK there is no written law that using headphones whilst driving is illegal, but drivers should still consider the safety implications of using headphones while driving.


Research shows that listening to music can make a journey seem to pass more quickly and can improve your mood. Many people also appreciate being able to listen to music without anyone else in the car being disturbed, so if you enjoy background music and aren’t easily distracted then using earbuds while driving should be a safe choice for you.

But you must not put your safety at stake and for that remember to keep your music at a volume that doesn’t impair your reactions, so look into purchasing some good fitting noise attenuating earbuds for the best experience.