The reasons for choosing a bicycle over a car for transportation can vary from person to person. Some people may think it is more efficient to use a bike than waiting in traffic, and others believe it is better for the environment. Others still may simply cycle to get in their exercise while getting where they need to go. Of course, while cycling may be an enjoyable activity, it is still important to avoid distractions and ride safely, and that includes not using headphones while on a bike.
Using headphones while cycling is not uncommon because many cyclists enjoy listing to music or podcasts while they travel to their destinations. However, in New York, the law prohibits cyclists from having both ears covered by headphones while cycling. While having one ear covered is permitted under state law, it can still present dangers.
Much like when driving a vehicle, cycling while distracted could put individuals at risk of not noticing a hazard. Cycling with even one ear covered by headphones could cause issues due to the following concerns:
- A cyclist may be distracted by what he or she is listening to.
- A cyclist may not be able to properly hear a hazard on the side with the covered ear.
- A cyclist may turn the music or podcast up louder to compensate for listening with only one ear.
Bicyclists face dangers at every turn, especially when riding on or near roadways. Allowing themselves to have every advantage of protection by reducing distractions could better ensure that they ride safely. Of course, even the most vigilant New York cyclist can end up seriously injured in an accident due to a distracted or otherwise negligent driver, and if that happens, looking into legal options for seeking compensation for damages may be wise.