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As a bicyclist, should you refrain from wearing headphones?

| Mar 25, 2021 | Bicycle Accidents |

Riding a bicycle is a great way to get exercise and get to a particular destination. Some people prefer this form of travel because it is quicker than walking but still offers benefits that driving a car does not. Of course, cycling can also present dangers that traveling by car does not. In particular, if you are involved in a car accident while on a bicycle, your odds of suffering a serious injury increase. 

In efforts to protect your safety as well as possible, you likely adhere to all Texas laws regarding bicycle travel and do your best to remain aware of your surroundings. However, you may be on the fence about some cycling safety tips, including the notion of not wearing headphones or earbuds while on your bike. 

Controversial topic 

The idea of whether to use headphones or earbuds while cycling is a controversial topic in the cycling community. Some believe that listening to music or podcasts reduces cyclists’ ability to hear their surroundings, which could mean they miss a hazard that later causes them injury. Others believe that listening to music helps make cycling more enjoyable and poses no more threat to cyclists than if the cyclist was deaf or hard of hearing. 

While deaf or hard of hearing individuals can certainly ride bicycles as they see fit, they typically have found ways to cope without a sense of hearing. As a result, they may still be better able to recognize hazards than someone wearing headphones who has not had years of learning how to compensate. 

Distraction 

You may also have heard that headphones can cause cyclists to become more distracted because they pay attention more to what they are listening to than actually focusing on cycling safety. No matter the form of travel, distraction can certainly put you and others at risk. Additionally, most states have explicit laws against driving while distracted, which could also apply to cyclists in some cases. 

While Texas does not have specific laws banning or regulating whether cyclists can wear headphones or earbuds while cycling, it is still important that you weigh the pros and cons before deciding to reduce or completely take away your hearing ability while cycling. 

Accidents happen 

Unfortunately, even if you do your best to remain a vigilant cyclist and refrain from wearing headphones while on your bike, a driver could still cause an accident that leaves you injured. If this happens to you, the effects could be long lasting and leave you struggling in many areas of your life. If so, it may be worthwhile to consider filing a personal injury claim against the driver considered at fault.