For the love of gravy, stop wearing earbuds while you're driving. 

Off the bat, earbuds/headphones distract you from hearing crucial auditory sounds like car horns, sirens, and trains at unmarked railroad crossings. 

When studied, Greene & Phillips Injury Lawyers determined "1 out of every 10 deadly car wrecks in the United States involves some sort of distraction."  The attorneys also reference two surveys released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that show portable music players are the most common causes of distracted driving, accounting for 18% of injuries sustained in car accidents. 

Hear No Pedestrian, See No Pedestrian

Earbuds are more than auditory distractions. They can also distract drivers from important visual cues. Pedestrians are a perfect example: when you can't hear nearby pedestrians, you're more likely not to see them. 

The same is also true of ambulances, fire trucks, and police cruisers with blaring sirens: if you can't hear their blaring sirens, you can't react accordingly. 

So is it or is it not illegal for Idaho drivers to wear earbuds?

Even though we just spent the last 157 words trying to convince you to stop wearing them while driving, technically, it's legal in Idaho. Here's the catch: you can only wear one earbud. Senate Bill No. 1283 states the following:

No person shall operate a motor vehicle while wearing headphones or earphones in both ears simultaneously for the purposes of listening to music, video, or other sound broadcasters. 

Here's another catch: even if you're in compliance by wearing one earbud, Idaho law enforcement can still ticket you if they believe you're distracted by it. And in case you're  curious, only 14 states ban wearing earbuds and headsets of any kind while driving: AK, CA, CO, FL, GA, LA, MD, MA, MN, NY, OH, PA, RI, VA, and WA.

What are your thoughts? Are you for or against it?

Email your opinions to ryan.valenzuela@townsquaremedia.com

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