Is It Illegal To Wear Headphones While Driving a Motorcycle in Arizona?

headphones and motorcycles

With the growing popularity and affordability of headphones and earbuds, it’s not uncommon to see people wearing them while working out, shopping or exercising. Wearing headphones, especially those that are noise-canceling, can be helpful for trying to focus at work or for those who have noise sensitivities. Headphones and motorcycles, however, can be a lethal combination–one that can lead to a dangerous or deadly motorcycle accident.

The personal injury attorneys at Lerner and Rowe review Arizona laws related to headphones and motorcycles, explain why it’s dangerous to wear headphones on a motorcycle and answer the question: Is it illegal to wear headphones while driving a motorcycle in Arizona? 

Arizona Laws Concerning Headphones and Motorcycles 

It is not illegal to wear headphones while driving a motorcycle in Arizona. The state does not have any laws that prohibit anyone from wearing headphones or earbuds while driving a motorcycle, car or any other vehicle. Arizona does have laws prohibiting the use of a cell phone when driving. As per Arizona Revised Statute 28-914, it is illegal to use a smartphone or other standalone electronic device while operating a motor vehicle unless it is in hands-free mode. This includes cell phones, tablets, music players, computers and gaming consoles. 

The Arizona law does allow drivers to do the following: 

  • To start and stop a GPS route, answer or finish a conversation or activate and disable a feature on the device. 
  • Use an earpiece, headset, or wrist-worn device to perform voice-based communication while using the portable wireless communication device. 
  • Utilize a gadget to navigate your car. 
  • In an emergency, use a cell phone to call for assistance or to report a crime.

Dangers of Headphones and Motorcycles

Headphones and motorcycles are a dangerous combination as they are a distraction when driving. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), over 75% of injury crashes in 2020 were a result of distracted driving. While Arizona state law does not prohibit the use of headphones while driving, it doesn’t mean that it is a good idea. Here are some dangers of wearing headphones while driving a motorcycle to be aware of. 

  • Distracted driving: the ability to concentrate on the road is affected if you are listening to music or talking with someone. This is the justification for the ban on talking on the phone while operating a vehicle. A motorcycle rider must devote all of their attention to maintaining balance and avoiding collisions with other vehicles.
  • Reduces reaction time: your ability to respond quickly to crucial situations if you’re using headphones when riding a motorcycle may be reduced. For instance, if you are riding a motorcycle on a busy highway while listening to music at a high volume. Most likely, you’ll be too engrossed in the music to pay attention to anything else.
  • Limits hearing: driving a motorcycle while wearing headphones can significantly reduce a person’s situational awareness. Drivers may not hear sirens or other traffic noises if they are wearing headphones. When you’re riding a motorcycle, your senses of touch, sound and sight function together. Losing any one of these senses can end up causing a serious accident.

Safety Measure for Motorcycles and Headphones

If you choose to use headphones while operating a motorcycle, make sure to take the appropriate safety measures.There are a few ways you can wear headphones while driving a motorcycle in Arizona. Here are some additional safety measures to follow when using headphones on a motorcycle.

  • Wear a helmet with headphones built-in: these headphones may simulate the feeling of wearing a typical pair of headphones and are mostly controlled through a Bluetooth connection. These headphones don’t completely enclose your ear so you’ll be able to hear the traffic and keep your attention on the road.
  • Reduce volume: keep the level of whatever you’re listening to on low, whether you’re using standard headphones or the built-in helmet headphones. Loud music can make it difficult  to distinguish between the musical vibrations and the motorcycle’s vibrations. You run the risk of having an accident if you cannot distinguish between these sounds.
  • Use only one earbud at a time: wearing one earbud allows you to remain more aware of your surroundings. Even with one earbud, it is still recommended to listen on low volume.

As always, it’s recommended to always wear a helmet and other protective gear when riding a motorcycle. 

After a Motorcycle Accident, Call Lerner and Rowe

If you or a loved one has been injured by a negligent motorcycle rider wearing headphones, contact us for legal help. Our team is available 24/7 to start your free case consultation. Call our attorneys day or night at 602-977-1900. We are also available by LiveChat. If you prefer, you complete this form to be forwarded to our office. 

In addition to providing top-notch legal services, our compassionate and award-winning legal team is committed to helping victims carry the emotional burden of an injury so that they can focus on recovery. For an unbeatable blend of impeccable legal representation and compassionate service, call Lerner and Rowe today.

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.