Is it illegal to drive while wearing earbuds or headphones in Virginia?

Driver Wearing Headphones While in VirginiaYes, driving while wearing earbuds or headphones in Virginia is illegal. Unfortunately, more drivers on the roads and highways in Virginia Beach and Norfolk are using them to listen to music or podcasts while driving. If you were injured in a car accident caused by a motorist using earbuds or headphones, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries if you can prove their negligence caused your crash.

Virginia’s Ban on Earbuds While Driving

Under Virginia Code §46.2-1078, operating a motor vehicle, bicycle, electric bike, moped, or electric personal mobility device is illegal while using earphones on or in both ears. Earphones are defined as any device worn on or in both ears that convert electric energy to sound and limits a person’s ability to hear. Exceptions, when earbuds or headphones are permitted, include the following:

  • A motorist is wearing a prosthetic device to assist with hearing.
  • The driver is operating an emergency vehicle.
  • The earphones are installed in a motorcycle helmet to be used as part of a communication system by motorcycle riders.
  • The driver is using an open-back, closed-ear, noise-canceling device in high-noise areas and is operating a vehicle weighing 26,000 pounds or more.

Dangers of Driving While Wearing Earbuds or Headphones

Wearing earbuds or headphones is a form of distracted driving that is extremely dangerous. A person wearing them will have their minds off their driving. In addition, many of these devices cancel out noise, preventing a driver from hearing the warning signs before an auto accident occurs.

Were you or a family member injured in a car crash in Virginia Beach or Norfolk caused by a driver wearing earbuds or headphones? It may be hard to prove that their negligence caused your crash without the help of an experienced car accident lawyer. To learn how we have helped other collision victims like you and about your options for recovering the compensation you deserve, call our Norfolk office at 757-265-1214 or complete our convenient online form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.