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Is it illegal to wear earphones or headphones while driving a car or motorbike?

I know that some states in the US outlaw this while I am unsure of UK legislation. Anybody know the definite answer?

I never realised it could be so boring on a long bike trip, as amazing as the journey was. After singing to yourself, are there other ways to illeviate boredom…on a motorbike?

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15 Responses to “Is it illegal to wear earphones or headphones while driving a car or motorbike?”

  1. santokieann said :

    Some motorcycle helmets have extra space especially designed for headphones so I would think it wouldn’t be illegal.

  2. LONG-JOHN said :


  3. bob D said :

    For most states headphones that cover both ears are illegal. all though you can wear one ear bud.

  4. rssr27 said :

    Common sense should dictate that this is a stupid idea at best, and laws should not be needed to prohibit this practice.
    Not only for your safety, but the safety of others.

  5. Robert C said :

    It is not specifically unlawful…but the consequences can be!.

    If you drive erratically for example…the use of headphones may well be used to demonstrate that you were driving with due care and attention.

  6. Matthew C said :

    Even if it is not illegal, you should be careful. Speakers in helmets are not directly in your ear, so it makes if easier for you to hear things around you. Granted, you can turn up your radio that loud, but I dont recommend that either. If you are going to attempt this, I would at least suggest that you do so at a reasonable volume.

  7. cliffie said :

    it is illegal to wear earphones. its in the law safety books.
    laws do very from state to state but most states support this law. its another catch 22, reason to stop you and then check out anything as long as the cop doesnt say why he stops you.
    then if he were to conduct which would be a illegal search would be thrown out….

  8. Hedge Witch said :

    In the UK it is NOT illegal to listen to music whilst riding your bike. I always wear really effective earplugs to cut out the road noise – but I have always felt that I would be more distracted if I were having a good sing-a-long with Steppenwolf or Black Sabbath!

  9. Rubbertech said :

    Not illegal, that I am aware of. Not all that wise either. Your hearing could keep you out of an accident.

  10. Pandora R said :

    The answer to this question varies from state to state. a one ear should be alright but a total headphone should be illegal if it isn’t!

    Just my opinion! Pandora

  11. rashtheman said :

    yea you wont be able to hear the poilce or others you may cause an acciendent

  12. Grand pa said :

    illegal may be stupid yes :::driving requires full atension

  13. WelshLad said :

    Would you still be a able to hear the emergency services?

  14. The Mr. Pine said :

    You can only cover one ear while driving motorized vehicle.

  15. philipscown said :

    One way to alleviate boredom is to do an occasional average speed calculation (based on clock and trip meter readings), or mpg just after a refil.

    Vary your speed too. Drive slow for a bit, then speed up for a bit. Do some self-critique on what you do differently.

    Before a long journey you could also read one of the advanced motorcycle manuals for your area (for the UK there’s one based on police best practice called “Roadcraft”) then practice what’s in it on the journey. This is good for concentration and improves your riding, both in terms of safety overall and safety with speed.

    Eventually you should aim for your advanced bike test. Being part trained and tested by a motorcycle cop was very interesting.


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