Jason Stephens | June 22, 2021 | Texas Law
There is no specific Texas traffic law that makes it illegal to wear headphones while driving in Texas. However, that does not mean that wearing headphones while driving is safe. In fact, wearing headphones while driving can increase your odds of being in a motor vehicle accident.
If you have headphones on while driving, you may not be able to hear other drivers using their horn to warn you of danger. Likewise, you may not be able to hear approaching emergency vehicles because the headphones block out the sirens.
Wearing headphones also increases distractions and could result in a serious or fatal car accident. Even talking on a cell phone while wearing headphones can affect your road awareness.
Can You Be Charged with a Traffic Violation for Wearing Headphones While Driving?
Texas Statutes allow drivers to wear headphones while driving. However, Texas Transportation Code §545.401 penalizes “reckless driving,” which it defines as operating a motor vehicle with a wanton or willful indifference for the safety of others.
Wearing headphones could be considered reckless driving, especially if you cause a car accident while wearing the headphones. In most cases, reckless driving is a misdemeanor. However, if you cause serious bodily injury or death, you could face other criminal charges.
Should You Wear Headphones While Driving?
No, it is not wise to wear headphones while driving. If you want to use a headset with your cell phone, you should leave one ear uncovered so that you can hear traffic noises and other sounds. Leaving one ear uncovered can also help reduce the distractions caused by headphones.
Make sure that your focus remains on the road at all times. If you notice that you are becoming distracted, remove the headphone or pull over to complete your call. Causing a distracted driving accident could have numerous consequences for your future.
If you are at fault for the cause of an accident, you could be financially liable for the damages caused by the crash. A car accident victim’s injuries could result in tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. If the person is permanently disabled, the value of the injury claim could reach millions of dollars.
Most people carry minimum car insurance, which includes $30,000 for bodily injury per person ($60,000 per accident). If the victim sustains damages that exceed your insurance policy limits, you may have a judgment against you for the remaining amount of the unpaid damages.
The benefits of driving with headphones is not worth the risk of a distracted driving accident.
What Should You Do if Someone Causes an Accident that Injures You?
If another driver injures you in a car accident, try to remain calm. Resist the urge to begin accusing the driver of fault at the accident scene. Call 911 and wait for help to arrive.
Do not discuss the details of the accident with anyone at the accident scene other than the police officer. If eyewitnesses offer to help, ask them to write down their names and telephone numbers.
Seek medical care for your injuries as soon as possible. Documenting your injuries is a crucial step in the personal injury process. You need to ensure that you have medical records that prove you sustained injuries because of the car crash.
You may also want to contact a car accident lawyer. An accident attorney can begin gathering evidence and investigating the cause of your crash while you continue to heal from your injuries. The lawyer also protects you from aggressive insurance adjusters who want to rush you into a settlement agreement that is not in your best interest.
What Damages Can I Recover for a Car Accident Claim?
The types of damages you might receive for a car accident case depend on several factors.
In many cases, the victim is entitled to receive compensation for:
- Past and future medical bills and expenses
- Past and future loss of income, including decreases in future earning potential
- Pain and suffering damages, including discomfort caused by physical injuries and distress caused by emotional and mental trauma
- Impairments, disabilities, and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- PTSD, depression, and other psychological injuries
- Decreased quality of life
Placing a value on your pain, suffering, and other damages can be difficult. An experienced personal injury lawyer understands how to use the facts of your case to maximize the amount you could receive for your claim.
Before accepting a settlement offer, make sure to check with an injury lawyer. It is wise to verify that you are receiving a fair amount to settle your accident claim.