What are the laws regarding Driving While Wearing Headphones?
Driving can be a dull and stressful activity. Sometimes the only thing that makes it tolerable is listening to music, podcasts and the occasional radio program. However when the cars stereo system is damaged or when the radio has awful music and obnoxious radio hosts trying to be funny, headphones provide a welcome relief from the monotony, an escape that blocks out the noise. But is it legal to wear headphones while driving?
Driving While Wearing Headphones is not technically illegal, there is no specific law stating that headphones can’t be worn. Although in NSW if a driver is on their L or P plates, they are not allowed to use any function of their mobile phones or other devices while driving.
Even for fully licensed drivers, Driving While Wearing Headphones can carry certain risks. Hearing is one of our most important senses, only eclipsed by sight, wearing noise-blocking headphones and taking this critical sense away can result in accidents that could have otherwise been avoided. Sirens, car horns and other sound-based hazard indicators are blocked when Driving While Wearing Headphones, which limits reaction times when road conditions change. Failing to respond to police sirens can also result in fines or a charge of reckless driving.
Headphones can distract the driver, and if an accident does occur, police can take into account whether the headphones were a factor in the incident. Another thing to consider is that the NSW road rule 297 dictates that a driver must be in control of their vehicle at all times. If an officer feels that Driving While Wearing headphones is affecting a driver’s ability to control their car, then they can charge them.
Something else to consider is that most major insurers have a clause that denies claims if the driver was engaging in high risk or negligent driving, they don’t have a specific section mentioning Driving While Wearing Headphones, but it’s something to consider.
Driving While Wearing Headphones is not illegal. However it’s not recommended, and we would not support these actions because it can distract the driver and limit their ability to engage in low-risk driving behaviours.
A driver training course can help good drivers become even better ones, and help to smooth out any kinks in driving knowledge and habits. If you are considering a driver training course for yourself or a corporate team, Corporate Driver Training Australia are the go to training company for many businesses.
Contact us today to find out more about our exceptional training programmes.