Headphones and Car Accidents
In some respects, noise-canceling headphones are one of life’s greatest blessings. They allow wearers to focus intensely on their music, or audiobook, or whatever-else-it-is they are choosing to listen to. But for a driver or a pedestrian on the roadway, noise-canceling headphones can be a deadly distraction.
Dangers of Distracted Driving
There is no doubt that when a driver’s attention is on anything other than the road, accidents are more likely. We know that texting while driving can result in a driver taking his eyes off the road for just a fraction of a second—which can be long enough to cause a devastating accident.
But drivers listen to music over the radio all the time through their car speakers; no one blames the speakers. Is there something different about headphone use?
Why Headphones Equal Danger
When a driver is listening to music or an audiobook over the car stereo system, he or she is still able to hear and pay attention to the sounds of the world around. The sound of a horn blaring, or an emergency siren, or tires squealing, or a person yelling would still audible. Similarly, a pedestrian walking with a handheld radio should be able to hear the sounds of a vehicle approaching, the road noises, or even a warning cry before an accident occurs.
With noise-blocking headphones, none of these sounds reach the listener’s ears. Your entire sense of hearing the world around you is blocked. This means that, for all intents and purposes, your ability to respond to danger that is not immediately visible is blocked.
While there is no legal prohibition of wearing headphones in Oklahoma, the fact is that using noise-blocking headsets can and certainly should be introduced into any accident case as evidence that the wearer (whether driver or pedestrian) was distracted and therefore negligent. This negligence could even affect an injured person’s ability to recover damages in a lawsuit. It is essential that you obtain legal counsel if you or a loved one was injured in an Oklahoma distracted car accident involving headphones. Contact Car Accident Help at (405) 285-4357.
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