Riding a bicycle with your headphones on is considered a distracting activity that increases the risk of an accident. But is it actually illegal to ride a bike while wearing headphones in Florida?
Riding a bicycle is a thrilling experience whether you are 7, 37, or 77. Many people want to make cycling even more enjoyable by listening to their favorite music while riding.
However, it is important to understand that having your headphones on makes you less aware of your surroundings and more susceptible to preventable bicycle accidents.
Before you wear your headphones and hit the road on your bike, it makes sense to check Florida’s state laws to determine whether it is legal to ride a bicycle while wearing headphones.
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident while wearing headphones, the fact that you had your headphones on can affect liability in your case. Consult with our Lakeland auto accident attorneys at The Turnbull Firm to help you determine liability in your particular case.
Is it illegal to ride a bicycle while wearing headphones in Florida?
Yes, Florida is one of seven states that explicitly prohibit riders from wearing headphones while riding a bicycle, motorcycle, car, or any other motor vehicle.
Fla. Stat. § 316.304 prohibits operating a vehicle while wearing headphones, a headset, or any other listening device. The only exception to the rule is if the operator is wearing:
- A hearing aid
- An instrument that improves defective human hearing
- One earbud for hands-free cell phone use
The other six states that make it illegal to wear headphones while riding a bike are California, New York, Rhode Island, Delaware, Virginia, and Maryland.
Other causes of bicycle accidents in Florida
While wearing headphones could potentially contribute to a bicycle accident, the most common causes of accidents involving bicyclists in Florida are:
- Driving under the influence
- Aggressive driving
- Unsafe lane changes
- Drowsy driving
- Distracted driving, including texting and talking on the phone
Bicyclists must stay aware of their surroundings at all times, especially when riding on a roadway or highway. Unfortunately, wearing headphones while riding a bicycle can put the cyclist at risk because the headphones decrease awareness and vigilance.
Why is it dangerous to ride a bicycle while wearing headphones?
Florida prohibits riding a bike with your headphones on for a reason. While many people think that listening to music while riding a bicycle is harmless, having your headphones on may block out surrounding noises, making you less aware of your surroundings and increasing the risk of accidents.
Wearing headphones while riding a bicycle may not allow you to pay full attention to the road, which is why many states make it illegal to operate a motor vehicle while wearing headphones.
If you have been involved in an automobile or bicycle accident while wearing headphones, the fact that you had your headphones one may be one of the contributing factors to your crash. However, the other party involved in the collision may also be held liable for the accident if they were partially at fault.
It is critical to consult with a knowledgeable Lakeland auto accident attorney to help you determine liability in your bicycle accident. Contact The Turnbull Firm to schedule a case evaluation. Call 863-324-3500 today.