Is It Illegal to Wear Headphones While Driving?

Is It Illegal to Wear Headphones While Driving?

Whether you live in Iowa or Illinois, you may spend a significant amount of time on the road commuting to work and driving kids to and from extracurricular activities.

If you do spend a lot of time in the car, especially if you are in a hands-free phone state like Illinois, you may be wondering: Is it illegal to wear headphones while driving?

If you are searching for information with phrases like “is it illegal to drive with headphones in,” it is important to make sure you know the law in the state—or states—where you routinely are on the road.

Different states have their own laws when it comes to using headphones while driving. In some states, it is perfectly legal to be driving with headphones.

In other states, however, any use of headphones while driving is illegal. And in yet other states still, the law falls somewhere in between—it is illegal to drive with headphones, but there are exceptions to the rule.

We want to provide you with more information about driving with headphones in Iowa and Illinois, and to help you understand your rights if you are involved in a car accident with a driver wearing headphones.

Wearing Headphones While Driving in Iowa is Legal

Iowa law does not prohibit the use of headphones while driving. While other uses of electronic communication devices are unlawful in the state—such as texting while driving—the law does not have any prohibitions when it comes to wearing headphones while driving.

As the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety underscores, Iowa is one of a majority of states that do not prohibit the use of headphones while a driver is behind the wheel.

However, just because a motorist is lawfully using headphones while driving in Iowa does not mean that the driver cannot be responsible for a distracted driving accident.

Even if a driver is doing something within the bounds of the law—like using headphones while driving or eating while driving—those lawful behaviors can still cause distractions that result in a serious collision.  Remember:  Just because it is legal does not mean it is safe.

Illinois Prohibits Headphones While Driving With Exceptions

Under Illinois law, drivers are prohibited from wearing headset receivers, or headphones, while driving on the road in Illinois. However, it is important to note that Illinois is one of eight states that prohibits headphones while driving with exceptions. Those exceptions include the following:

  • Single-sided headsets or headphones (i.e., headphones only on or in one ear); and
  • Single cell phone earpiece.

If you have additional questions about headphone usage while driving in Illinois, you should speak with a car accident lawyer in Illinois who has experience handling claims involving the use of headsets while driving.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Serving Clients in Iowa and Illinois

If you were injured in a car accident in Iowa or Illinois, or if you have questions about how laws concerning headphones while driving may impact your case, an Illinois and Iowa car accident attorney can assist you.

VanDerGinst Law attorneys are licensed in both Illinois and Iowa. Contact VanderGinst Law to learn more about how we assist clients in Iowa and Illinois with auto accident cases.


The information contained on this website is presented by VanDerGinst Law P.C. It is not intended nor should it be construed as professional legal advice. The information is general in nature about the Firm, the scope of services we offer, and our community outreach, it is not legal advice. Please contact us by phone, email, mail, or via this website for inquiries. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact a personal injury attorney for a consultation regarding your situation. This website is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Iowa and/or the State of Illinois.