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Can I Use Headphones While Driving in Illinois?

Listening to music while driving has been common ever since auto manufacturers started including radios in their vehicles in the early 1930s. From music to audiobooks, drivers have long enjoyed listening to the radio as entertainment during their morning commutes and road trips. While listening to the radio while driving is perfectly legal, can the same be said for using headphones or earbuds while behind the wheel? Not so fast.

In the state of Illinois, it is illegal for drivers to operate a motor vehicle while wearing a “headset receiver.” Under Chapter 12 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, a headset receiver is defined as any device other than a hearing aid that is worn on a person’s head and enables them to receive electronic communications. The only exceptions to this rule include Bluetooth earpieces that are worn in a single ear for telephone communication, intercom-equipped motorcycle helmets, and headsets used by emergency responders and construction workers.

Why are Headphones Illegal?

Headphones, earbuds, or other in-ear audio sources can create a considerable distraction for drivers and limit their situational awareness. Listening to music through headphones can make it difficult for drivers to concentrate on the road or hear approaching sirens or other important traffic sounds that would otherwise be audible if they were listening to the radio. As such, drivers who are caught using headphones while driving can face a maximum $500 fine and be held liable for any damages they should cause in the event of a collision.

Injured? Contact Boudreau & Nisivaco LLC

If you have been injured in a crash caused by a driver who was wearing headphones, our Chicago car accident attorneys can help you pursue fair compensation for your resulting medical bills, lost wages, vehicle repair costs, and pain and suffering. Having recovered more than $100 million on behalf of injured clients throughout more than 30 years of practicing personal injury law, we have what it takes to maximize your chances of securing the financial recovery you deserve.

Call (312) 620-1261 or schedule a no-cost case review today.