Mark Roman | November 14, 2022 | Bicycle Accidents
Music can make a long commute or workout more bearable. You might want be tempted to add headphones if you use your bike to exercise or travel to work.
However, wearing headphones while cycling isn’t only a bad idea from a safety standpoint — it’s also illegal. If a law enforcement officer catches you with earbuds or headphones on while riding, you could receive a fine. Moreover, it could cause a bicycle accident.
Florida Law and Headphone Use
Florida law prohibits anyone from operating a “vehicle” while using a headset, headphones, or any other listening device. The only devices allowed are hearing aids or similar devices that amplify sounds and make them easier to hear.
Although bicycles are not considered motor vehicles under Florida law, they are considered vehicles. Therefore, Florida laws that apply to individuals operating any vehicle apply equally to drivers of cars and bicycle riders.
What Can Happen if You Are Caught Riding with Headphones?
According to the statute, wearing a set of headphones while riding your bicycle is a nonmoving violation and can be punished with a fine. Because it’s a nonmoving violation, a citation for violating the statute does not add any points to your license and is unlikely to increase your insurance rates.
The Location of the Offense Does Not Matter
Perhaps you think that if you’re riding your bike on the sidewalk or in an empty parking lot, you can wear a headset or headphones without breaking the law. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Law enforcement can cite and fine you for wearing any headset or headphones while on your bicycle, regardless of where you’re riding.
However, feel free to use headphones or a headset while riding a stationary bike or riding your bike on your property. The law does not penalize you for listening to music with headphones or a headset under these circumstances.
Riding with Headphones Is Dangerous
Safety is one of the principal reasons why Florida prohibits bicycle riders from using headsets or headphones while on their bikes. Thousands of individuals lose their lives in distracted driving accidents every year.
Distracted driving increases the risk of an accident, no matter what type of vehicle you’re using.
When you’re distracted with a headset or headphones:
- It takes longer to see hazards in your path or dangers to your safety
- You can’t hear approaching traffic, emergency vehicles, or pedestrians
- It’s more challenging to make a split-second decision to avoid a crash
- Your hands may be occupied adjusting your headset’s volume or music selection
Using a headset, earbuds, or headphones while riding your bike can pose these same dangers, making it more likely you will be involved in an injury or fatal bicycle wreck. What’s more, it may be more difficult for you to obtain legal compensation under these circumstances.
When Riding a Bike, Think Safety First
Riding a bicycle on or near the street comes with its own set of dangers. Don’t add to the risk by using headphones or a headset while riding. Not only can this decision cost you in terms of a fine, but it can also result in you becoming one of the thousands of bicyclists injured in wrecks each year.
Keep the headsets and headphones stowed safely away while riding, and listen to your favorite music or podcast when you arrive at your destination.
If you were in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver — even if you were wearing headphones at the time of the crash. Contact Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
Contact the Tampa Bicycle Accident Law Firm of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact the legal team of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation with a bicycle accident lawyer in Tampa. We have five convenient locations in Florida: Clearwater, New Port Richey, and Tampa.
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
1811 N. Belcher Road, Suite I-1
Clearwater, FL 33765
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Congress Ave Office
2360 Congress Avenue
Clearwater, FL 33763
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
6601 Memorial Hwy Suite 202
Tampa, FL 33615
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
2515 Seven Springs Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL, 34655