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Legal Review: Why You Should Not Wear Headphones While Cycling?

Every means of transportation comes with unique risks; this includes cars, trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles. However, bicyclists face hazardous risks because they are more vulnerable on the road; a bicycle does not protect them as much as a car. “Every year from 2008 to 2012, an average of 265 crashes involving a bicycle occurred,” according to Denver Public Works.

Furthermore, most cycling-related accidents involve motor vehicles and cyclists; unsurprisingly, cyclists suffer the most injuries. In a crash between a motorist and a cyclist, the injuries a cyclist sustains are usually disproportionately serious, sometimes fatal. Understanding the risks associated with riding a bicycle, every bicyclist should be cautious; this includes not wearing headphones while cycling.

While you may not get a ticket for cycling with headphones over your ears, there are other reasons to avoid doing this. This article will consider why you should not wear headphones while riding a bicycle.

Staying Alert

Whether you are cycling on a roadway or open mountain trails, you need your sense of hearing fully alert. You should be able to hear the sound of the siren coming from an ambulance and respond appropriately. If you enter a corner, you are going in blind and will need to rely on your ears.

Furthermore, your hearing can tell you if your bike is giving off an unfamiliar sound. For instance, you may hear a clunking noise, indicating that you must stop riding and check what is making that sound. If you have headphones over your ears, it will be hard to hear these sounds, which can be dangerous.

You are less likely to heed warning signals on the road with headphones over your ears, whether yelling or honking. As such, you are at a higher risk of an accident.

You Need to be Able to Acknowledge the Presence of Other Bicyclists

Bicycles tend to come with a bell that informs other bicyclists of their presence before, behind, or around them. If a bicyclist is using headphones, they will not be able to acknowledge the other rider’s presence and this is often taken to be disrespectful to other riders sharing the road with them.

Road users must be mindful of one another, watching for one another’s safety and that of pedestrians. You should be aware of your environment whenever you are on the road.

It Clouds One’s Focus

Listening to music from headphones while riding a bicycle clouds the rider’s focus and distracts the brain. You are forcing your brain to listen to music while keeping an eye out for a certain something.  This can be asking for trouble — for yourself and other road users


Listening to music while cycling can compound the hazards of riding a bicycle. It compromises the safety of the rider as well as other road users.

Some states have laws against using headphones while cycling, while others do not. If you decide to listen to music, you can listen with only one earbud so that one ear is free. However, you are much safer if you keep yourself completely free of distractions while cycling.

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