Say you love to listen to music when you drive your car, but your speakers are wearing out. You have a great pair of Bluetooth headphones, so you decide to just wear them while you drive. Since it reduces the noise of the road, you find that you actually like driving much better that way.
But are you allowed to do this? Listening to music is not only legal but incredibly popular, so that’s clearly not a problem — even if it is a distraction — but do you have to listen to it on the stereo system in the car itself, or can you use the headphones?
Florida law prohibits the use of headphones when driving
Generally, you cannot wear a “headset, headphone or another listening device” when operating a motor vehicle, under current Florida law. There are a few exceptions, such as the use of a hearing aid, but you can’t wear your wireless headphones just to have better music quality. Doing so is a violation of the law and could result in legal trouble if you’re caught.
Why is this true? The issue is that headphones cut out so much noise around your car that it makes it harder to hear horns, sirens, emergency vehicles and the like. They are also fairly distracting in a way that in-car music isn’t, as the experience is more immersive. In short, driving with headphones can take your attention away from the road, which can cause accidents.
What if other drivers do it anyway?
You know not to wear headphones in the car, but other drivers may not know or may not care. If they injure you in an accident, you need to know how to seek financial compensation.