Search Site
Menu
Is it Legal to Wear Earbuds While Driving in New Jersey?

We see many headlines about how New Jersey lawmakers are trying to combat distracted driving in the Garden State. Although most of the proposals are useful in theory, they raise questions about enforceability and how necessary and effective the measures would be. This discussion has many residents confused about the legality of behaviors they have taken for granted, such as wearing earbuds while driving. A recent article in NJ.com attempted to clarify the issue by speaking to Sgt. Jeff Flynn, a New Jersey State Police spokesman.

Sgt. Flynn said that earbuds are legal under New Jersey law because they constitute a hands-free device. However, he recommends leaving one ear free to pick up clues from traffic, such as a car horn. A person who is listening to loud music and therefore cannot hear a car horn could be cited if his failure to hear the horn led to an accident.

This discussion prompted a comment from a reader that needs to be addressed:

“But, you can get a NJ driver’s license if you are deaf. What is the difference between listening to music with both ears and not being able to hear anything with both ears?”

The difference is two-fold. First, the deaf person is not distracted by the music, so his attention is not being taken off the task of driving. Although the deaf person cannot hear the horn, he might pick up on other visual cues the distracted driver is not catching. Many deaf drivers use panoramic mirrors to give them a greater field of vision. And, in fact, there are devices for deaf drivers that give a visual cue when a siren or car horn sounds in the vicinity.

The second point is that a citation for careless driving and liability for an accident are based on a reasonable person standard. Is it reasonable for a driver who can hear to obliterate his hearing, making it impossible to pick up on sound cues that might alert him to danger? Certainly not.

If you are in an auto accident caused by a person wearing earbuds, it would be very helpful to know the volume setting at the time of the crash. An excessive volume could help you prove negligence, which is an important element in establishing liability. Getting that information can be difficult, because police are not authorized to confiscate a cellphone after an accident. However, if they were able to observe, from their proximity to the driver, how loudly the music was blaring, that testimony could be very helpful to your case.

If you are injured in a pedestrian accident in Bergen County or anywhere in New Jersey, Seigel Law is ready to help. Contact us online or call 201.444.4000 today for a free consultation and case evaluation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS
  • $7,900,000

    Recovery on behalf of the 16-year-old girl injured by electrical malfunction

  • $8,000,000

    Jury verdict in a catastrophic injury case

  • $1,100,000

    Settlement for a fractured arm in Passaic County

  • $4,775,000

    Settlement for a woman in Bergen County injured in a trucking accident

Meet Our Attorneys


  • (61 Reviews)

    By Teresa R Perez - January, 2018

    I have had a great experience thus far. The personal injury process is stressful and they have been helpful and courteous in getting me the right referrals. I was injured while visiting NJ and live in another state, my case is not an easy one but they are working diligently to help. I appreciate the personalized attention and highly recommend this firm.

    Read More

  • (61 Reviews)

    By Miriam Smith-Leone - December, 2017

    The law office was great with my back and neck injury. They directed me to the right doctors and got me a huge settlement. Being a single mom, it help pay off all my debt and bills. Me and my kids can have a bill free christmas, with plenty of food and happiness, stress free. They are the best ever and I would highly recommend them to anyone rich or poor, who has been in an accident and need legal help...

    Read More

  • (61 Reviews)

    By L C - October, 2017

    After the misfortune of suffering an injury, I had the good fortune to choose Seigel Law to represent me. During my initial meeting with Jan Seigel, I found him to be extremely confident and reassuring---he totally put me at ease. I was represented by Mark Mc Bratney---an EXCELLENT attorney. He was supportive and professional through the entire process, and provided an excellent outcome for my case.

    Read More

  • (61 Reviews)

    By Liliana Paredes - October, 2017

    Honest, trustworthy and very straight forward. In unvarnished truth Jonas Siegel will tell you exactly where you stand and what direction you should go. Jonas has tenacity coupled with a degree of tenderness, but never losing site of the end goal, which is to protect, defend and have the best outcome for his clients. I defenetly recoment this law firm. Thanks for helping me out in my case.

    Read More

  • (61 Reviews)

    By Oren Goldshmidt - September, 2017

    I'd like to thank everyone at segal law for the amazing experience they provided me. From the moment I stepped in to the end of the case , segal and his team delivered exactly what they promised. I couldn't have received any better treatment from a law firm. Any concerns, questions or problems I had were addressed and dealt with accordingly...

    Read More

What we offer our clients


Knowledge

Personal injury and medical knowledge

Our knowledgeable team of personal injury lawyers includes a medical doctor who advises on complex medical topics

chat2

One-on-one attorney attention

By maintaining a limited number of cases, our attorneys can provide personalized attention to each client we serve

idea2

Results-oriented strategies

Our lawyers have won numerous high verdicts and settlements, many in the high six- and seven-figure range, for our injured clients

Trial_Experience

Trial experience

Every trial attorney in our firm is a certified trial attorney by the New Jersey Supreme Court

Communication

Communication as a priority

We understand how important communication is to a successful attorney-client relationship, we return calls within 24 hours

Community

Community involvement

Our lawyers and staff are active in community outreach and community service programs

Testimonials
  • "The lawyers at Seigel Law know how to get you the results you want. Jan Seigel and His team returned every one of my phone calls, listened to me and worked with me to a desirable outcome. Seigel Law definitely goes above and beyond to protect the injured." - B.M.

  • "After my car accident, my life turned into a disaster. Dealing with everything became impossible. Jan Seigel and his people helped me with every aspect of my injuries and the insurance companies so I could focus on healing. They helped me through everything and they got me what I was due." - M.P.

  • "I found the personnel to be very efficient, and work very quickly. I'm happy that I was referred to this firm, because I found that I was very comfortable working with them." - F.V.

  • "Amazing. I have to say they were very supportive and were able to give me tons of information. I didn't feel rushed and felt they truly cared about my well-being. Their website is also extremely helpful and well setup." - T.D.

Contact us

Quick Contact Form