Is It Illegal to Wear Headphones While Driving in Missouri?

by Christopher Hoffmann on Nov. 10, 2022

Accident & Injury Accident & Injury  Personal Injury Accident & Injury  Car Accident 

Summary: There is currently no law against using headphones while driving in Missouri. While the Highway Patrol discourages it, there is no law dictating whether or not drivers can use headphones while behind the wheel. However, just because it’s not explicitly prohibited by law does not mean it’s a safe habit.

It's a common sight nowadays to see drivers on the road with headphones on, listening to music or podcasts as they make their way from one place to another. And for many people, this may seem like the normal thing to do - after all, we use our phones and other devices constantly throughout our day-to-day lives. However, is using headphones while driving illegal under Missouri law?

 

There is currently no law against using headphones while driving in Missouri. While the Highway Patrol discourages it, there is no law dictating whether or not drivers can use headphones while behind the wheel. However, just because it’s not explicitly prohibited by law does not mean it’s a safe habit.

 

The Dangers of Using Headphones While Driving

 

Here are three dangers of using headphones while driving that you should be aware of:

 

They Can Lead to Daydreaming

 

Have you ever been driving and found yourself in a trance-like state? This is often referred to as highway hypnosis, and it can be incredibly dangerous. Listening to music or a podcast through headphones while driving can lead to highway hypnosis because it can cause you to zone out and lose focus on the task at hand. This can increase your risk of getting into an accident. 

 

They Can Cause You to Swerve into Oncoming Traffic

 

Swerving is often caused by distracted driving—including using headphones while behind the wheel. If you're wearing headphones and something catches your eye, there's a good chance you'll turn your head to look. And when you do, your car may follow. Before you know it, you could find yourself in the oncoming lane—or worse.

 

They Can Cause You To Ignore Emergency Vehicles 

 

Another hazard of wearing headphones while driving is that you might not be able to hear emergency vehicles approaching. This could lead to tragedy if you were to pull out into traffic without realizing an ambulance was coming or if you didn't hear a fire truck coming and got in its way. It's important to always be aware of your surroundings when driving so that you can react accordingly in case of an emergency. 

 

They Can Prevent You from Hearing Other Cars and Pedestrians

 

In addition to emergency vehicles, it's also important to be able to hear other cars and pedestrians—especially when backing up or making a turn. But if you're wearing headphones and have the volume cranked up, there's a good chance you won't hear them until it's too late.

 

As you can see, many dangers are associated with using headphones while driving. Therefore, as tempting as it may be to put on your headphones and zone out while driving, it's important to resist the urge and focus on the road. Your safety—and that of those around you— depends on it.

 

St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer

 

If you have been involved in a St. Louis car accident due to the negligence of another driver, our St. Louis car accident lawyers are here to help. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 to schedule a free case evaluation.

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