Advances in technology have allowed us all to carry thousands of our favorite songs everywhere, including in our cars. The temptation to use earbuds while driving comes with this technology, but it’s an extremely dangerous thing to do. In addition to being illegal in Virginia, using earbuds while driving prevents you from full awareness of the environment around you and makes it more likely that you’ll be involved in a crash.
The Virginia car accident lawyers at Leary Law have nearly 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases. We’ve helped our clients recover millions in compensation over the years. If you choose Leary Law, we can fight tirelessly to help secure fair compensation for your injuries. Get a free initial consultation by calling our offices in Fairfax or Manassas or by filling out our contact form.
Virginia Law and Earbuds
Many states have enacted laws to ban distracted driving, but few specifically ban earbuds. Virginia is one of those states with a law specifically outlawing the use of earbuds and similar devices while driving.
Section 46.2-1078 of the Code of Virginia states that it’s illegal to operate a motor vehicle, bicycle, electric bicycle, moped, or electric personal mobility device “while using earphones on or in both ears.” This means that using earbuds is illegal not only for drivers but also for cyclists and others on the road.
There are a few exceptions allowed under Virginia anti-earbuds law. Those exceptions are:
- Drivers operating emergency vehicles
- Anyone using a prosthetic device that helps them hear more clearly
- Headphones inside helmets used by motorcycle riders, as long as they’re used as part of a communications system
- Non-prosthetic, open-back, closed-ear, noise-canceling devices used by drivers who operate vehicles in high-noise areas, as long as the vehicle in question has a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,000 pounds or more
What Are the Dangers of Driving with Earbuds?
Using earbuds while driving is both distracting and dangerous. First and foremost, the sound in your ears is a significant distraction. If you’re distracted by the music you’re listening to, it’s harder to perceive and respond to hazards on the road. That can make a major wreck much more likely.
Secondly, using earbuds or headphones prevents you from hearing sounds in the environment around you. Awareness of the sounds around you is crucial to general alertness while driving. You might hear a hazard before you can see it, allowing you to respond in time. But if you can’t hear anything outside of your vehicle, you might not be able to react to avoid a serious collision.
Compensation Available After an Accident
If you’ve been injured in a crash with a driver who was wearing earbuds, Virginia law allows you to demand compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial injuries you’ve suffered. With help from a Virginia personal injury lawyer, you could claim compensation for:
- The medical bills related to the accident
- Your reduced ability to work
- The wages you lost during recovery
- The physical pain from the accident
- The emotional harm you’ve suffered
- The value of your damaged personal property
One key thing to know about car accident claims in Virginia concerns the state’s negligence laws. According to Virginia law, you can be barred from recovering compensation if you’re found to have contributed to your injuries in any way. That’s why you’ll want help from a Virginia personal injury attorney who knows how to protect your right to compensation.
How a Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer Could Help
Between Virginia’s strict negligence laws and the high stakes involved in a personal injury claim, it’s essential to get help from an experienced attorney. While you focus on healing from your injuries, we can gather evidence to identify the liable parties in the accident and build a case against them. We can take care of all the necessary paperwork and settlement negotiations on your behalf. If a reasonable settlement can’t be reached, we’ll be fully prepared to bring your claim to court so you can get the compensation you deserve.
Don’t wait to speak to a knowledgeable Virginia car accident lawyer. Get your free initial consultation with Leary Law by calling our office or visiting our contact page.