A driver runs a stop sign and hits you while you’re crossing the street. Thankfully, they do come to a stop and get out to see if you’re OK. When they do, they take off a pair of headphones and set them back in the car.
Instantly, you start wondering if they were listening to their headphones and they were so distracted that they didn’t see you. Maybe you even tried to yell and wave at the driver before the accident, but they were looking in a different direction and you couldn’t get their attention. It feels to you like they put you in more danger by wearing their headphones, but have they also broken the law?
You cannot cover both ears
Under California law, wearing headphones that cover both of your ears is illegal. The same goes for earbuds, Bluetooth devices or anything else that you would insert to listen to music or even just to have a phone conversation.
That being said, if the headphones are only covering one ear, then it is not illegal. This is often considered a bit of a loophole in the law, but the idea is simply that the driver can still hear outside road noise and warning signs – such as the sirens from emergency vehicles – as long as one ear is exposed.
What comes next?
If the driver was wearing headphones over both ears, that certainly may explain why the accident happened. But even if they didn’t break the law, they were still negligent because they ran the stop sign, and the accident is going to be their fault either way. As a result, you need to know how to seek financial compensation if you have suffered serious injuries, especially traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries.