Q: Are bicyclists allowed to wear headphones while riding?

Bicyclists are only allowed to use one earphone for audio devices.A: Bicyclists are only allowed to use one earphone for audio devices, including telephones. It is important to be able to hear your surroundings while riding a bicycle.

The same New York law prohibits the use of earphones or headphones in more than one ear by automobile drivers and motorcyclists on public highways. Violation of New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law § 375 (24 – a) could result in a ticket.

Cyclists who are either wearing headphones or using a smartphone are obviously less likely to hear ambient traffic sounds, such as other bicycle bells, than riders who weren’t on their phones. As electric cars become quieter, music may have an even greater dampening effect.

There has been little research to determine exactly how dangerous headphones are for cyclists. A 2015 Netherlands study found that cyclists listening to music disobeyed traffic rules more often than than riders using a phone. But field experiments found no negative impact of headphones on a rider’s visual detection.

The study also reported a slightly higher crash risk for teenagers and young adults using an electronic device such as a music player.

LaMarche Safranko Law Can Help

If you are are injured in a car accident while walking, jogging or riding a bicycle, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and other losses. Skilled legal representation can help make sure you are compensated to the fullest extent possible, whether you choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit or settle out-of-court. If you are injured in the Capital Region – in Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Clifton Park, Saratoga or elsewhere in the Capital District – please call the personal injury lawyers of Lamarche Safranko Law PLLC  for a free consultation.

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