Headphones While Cycling
There is no question as to the legality of wearing headphones while driving a car – you can’t. However, the legality of wearing headphones while cycling is a little more grey. There may be a few local ordinances that prevent it, but for the most part, it is perfectly legal to do so. The question remains, however. Is it safe to do so?
The issue of cycling while wearing headphones is one that has always divided the cycling community. There are two camps of thought. One may feel that wearing headphones and listening to music makes a cyclist less responsive or even aware of dangers. Some others feel that wearing headphones helps dampen the cacophony of sounds that can create a sensory overload. In this respect, it is believed that by drowning it out everything else, the cyclist has a clearer head to address potential issues.
In reality, headphones are probably not the issue. If a car comes from behind and clips a cyclist, being able to hear their approach probably would not have prevented the accident. In fact, in challenging environments, being able to hear is not actually necessary. A car driver requires the unimpeded use of their ears primarily so they can hear emergency response vehicles and clear a lane. Cyclists, often not using actual car lanes, are of no particular responsibly to do anything. Often the use of your ears doesn’t do much, certainly, they do less than educating drivers on how to share the road.
So, if your city lacks specific laws against headphones and cycling, it is well within your legal right to use them. Even if you aren’t listening to music, sometimes dampening the noise around you can be a major help, making them worthwhile to use.
If you have gotten in a cycling accident and someone is trying to put the blame on you for wearing headphones, contact us today to see how we can help.