Is It Illegal To Drive with Headphones in Texas?

People like to listen to their favorite music, podcasts, or other audio entertainment when they drive. Enjoying your favorite songs in the car is not illegal. However, if you put headphones on while driving, you may get a ticket and face other consequences.

Texas Laws for Wearing Headphones While Driving

No Texas law specifically makes it illegal to wear headphones while driving. However, wearing headphones could still get you a ticket.

For example, Texas Transportation Code §545.401 is the reckless driving statute. A driver may be charged with reckless driving if they operate a motor vehicle in a manner that wantonly or willfully disregards the safety of other people.

Reckless driving is usually charged as a misdemeanor, with a maximum fine of $200 and up to 30 days in jail. However, if you cause a car accident that results in serious bodily injury or death, you could face felony criminal charges.

Wearing headphones that prevent you from hearing sounds that alert you to danger could be considered reckless. For example, you cannot hear another driver blowing the horn to alert you to an accident ahead so that you can slow down and stop.

You may also be accused of distracted driving if you wear headphones. Research conducted by Ford revealed that wearing headphones or earbuds slowed a driver’s response to cues by 4.2 seconds. While that does not sound like a long time, it only takes seconds to miss a cue and cause a car accident. 

How Can Wearing Headphones Impact a Car Accident Case?

Wearing headphones could lead to liability in a car accident case, but it must be proven that that was the cause. In other words, the fact that the driver was wearing headphones may have had nothing to do with the crash. Merely wearing headphones is not proof of fault, but it can help depending on the case.

Contributory fault laws in Texas also bar you from receiving compensation for damages if you are more than 50% to blame for the cause of the accident. If you are less than 51% at fault, your compensation is reduced by your level of fault. 

If you were a victim of a crash but were wearing headphones at the time, it could lead to less (or eliminated) compensation. An attorney can help you if you are facing allegations of blame.

What Should I Do if Someone Wearing Headphones Causes My Car Accident?

If you are involved in a car accident in Dallas, call 911 to report the crash and wait for help to arrive. Do not accuse the other driver of causing the accident. Instead, document the accident scene by taking photos and making a video.

Ask witnesses for their contact information. They may have seen the driver wearing headphones at the time of the crash. However, do not discuss the details with anyone at the accident scene other than the police officer.

Seek medical treatment for your injuries. Even if you do not believe your injuries are serious, it is best to see a doctor. If you discover you did sustain injuries, prompt medical care improves your chance of receiving a fair settlement.

You may also want to call a Dallas car accident lawyer for advice. An attorney can review your case and explain your legal options for seeking damages.

What Damages Are Available for a Car Accident Case Involving Reckless Driving?

Once you prove the other driver is responsible for causing the car accident, you can seek compensation for your economic and non-economic damages. You may receive compensation for numerous damages in car accident case, including:

Your case’s value depends on the circumstances surrounding your accident and injuries. Before you accept a settlement offer from the insurance company or another party, talk with a Dallas personal injury lawyer to verify that the settlement amount compensates you for the total value of your damages. Generally, signing a car accident settlement agreement waives your right to file a lawsuit or pursue other claims.

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Car Accident Lawyer

If you have questions about car accident claims or need help with one, call an experienced attorney for a free consultation. During that time, you can find out about your legal rights and options.

Contact Our Accident Law Firm in Dallas, TX

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Dallas, Texas, and need legal help, contact our Dallas car accident lawyers at Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today.

Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers
2512 State St,
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 855-1420