July 25, 2022 | Uncategorized
One of the main contributors to vehicle accidents in Texas and throughout the country is distracted driving. One major type of distraction that individuals often do not discuss is wearing headphones while driving. Here, we want to discuss the dangers that occur when a person wears headphones when they are operating a motor vehicle as well as whether or not this is an illegal activity in Texas.
There is no specific law in Texas that makes it illegal for a person to wear headphones while they operate a motor vehicle. However, just because there is no law guarding this issue, please understand that this is unsafe.
When individuals operate a motor vehicle, they need all their senses. This obviously means individuals need to be on the lookout for any hazards, but they also need to be able to hear any dangers around them. When a person where is headphones while operating a vehicle, this can increase their odds of being involved in an auto accident.
Not only will an individual wearing headphones not be able to hear any possible hazards around them, but they will also not be able to hear approaching emergency vehicles such as fire trucks, ambulances, or police cars.
Even though there is no specific law about wearing headphones and operating a vehicle, individuals could still face a traffic violation for reckless driving if wearing the headphones resulted in an accident.
When we look at Texas Transportation Code §545.401, we can see that reckless driving is defined as operating a vehicle with willful indifference to the safety of others. Wearing headphones could be characterized as a willful indifference to the safety of other drivers due to the distraction that it causes, particularly if it leads to a severe incident. Additionally, not only is this a traffic violation, but reckless driving is charged as a misdemeanor offense (or a felony if it causes death or serious bodily injury).
Texas does have certain laws in place regarding the use of cell phones, though they do not specifically list headphones as being an issue. In fact, the laws in Texas focus primarily on sending or receiving electronic messages while operating a vehicle.
In this state, drivers are not allowed to send or receive text messages while the vehicle is in motion. If a person has a learner’s permit, they are prohibited from using cell phones at all during the first six months of driving. Additionally, drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using any handheld devices while the vehicle is in motion.
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in an accident caused by the negligent actions of another driver, reach out to an experienced Austin personal injury attorney today. If the reckless driver was distracted by their phone or another type of handheld device such as headphones, your lawyer will look into these allegations and help work to recover maximum compensation on your behalf.