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Is it dangerous to drive while wearing headphones?

On Behalf of | Aug 27, 2021 | Car Accidents |

To protect yourself and other drivers in Minnesota, it’s imperative to avoid distractions while driving. You might know about common causes of distracted driving, including cellphone use, looking away from the road and similar types of behaviors. However, you may be unaware that wearing headphones while behind the wheel can also cause a lot of distractions.

Ford’s study about drivers wearing headphones

One of the world’s most popular automobile manufacturers, Ford, wanted to find out how dangerous it is for people wearing headphones while driving. In May 2021, Ford began this study in Europe.

This study examined two groups of people. One group completed this study while using headphones, and the other group didn’t use headphones. Next, Ford would use spatial audio and a virtual-reality street setting to create a realistic driving experience. The results of this study found that people wearing headphones had an average delay in reaction time of 4.2 seconds compared to drivers not using headphones.

What makes using headphones and driving a dangerous combination?

It’s understandable to wonder why the use of headphones while driving causes so many motor vehicle accidents. The main danger of driving while wearing headphones is not being able to hear the world around you.

These sounds may be an approaching ambulance or police car that needs you to pull over. You may also not hear the horns of oncoming trains, buses or other passenger vehicles. When you can’t hear these sounds, it becomes difficult to avoid the dangers of these situations.

To summarize, driving a car while wearing headphones is a dangerous decision. If you’re wearing headphones behind the wheel, it’s much harder than normal to hear what’s going on around you.