Is it Legal to Ride Your Bicycle with Headphones in Mississippi?

JACKSON, Mississippi. Going for a bicycle ride? Want to listen to music while you pedal? In Mississippi, it is legal to use ear buds while riding your bike, according to Digital Music News. Yet, in many states, riding your bike while using ear buds is illegal.  In New York, ear buds are prohibited.  In Alaska and California, bikers are only permitted to use ear phones for medical reasons. In Georgia, anything that can diminish a rider’s hearing is outlawed, including ear buds. In Illinois, you can ride with one ear bud in, but not both.

With so many places banning the use of ear buds, the question remains: though it is legal to use headphones while biking in Mississippi, should you do it?

According to Cycling Weekly, the research is somewhat unclear. Some studies found that riders who use earphones while biking were 10 percent less responsive to risks. While other studies found that listening to music while riding could increase performance.  In cases where riders were navigating heavy traffic and other dangers, listening to music could lead to calmness, which could potentially lead to better riding and better response to dangers.

Yet, the sense of hearing is extremely important and it’s easy to underestimate how much it can help you while riding your bike.  Sometimes, you may hear a car coming from behind you even when you don’t see it.  Yet, another study found that riders listening to music on ear buds at a low volume could still hear more of their surroundings than a driver with the windows rolled up.

So, what’s the solution?  Should you plug in, or turn off the music?  A solution might be a compromise that helps you reap the benefits of playing music and also keep your ears open. Consider getting a mini Bluetooth speaker for your bike. Sure, your music will be loud enough for everyone to hear, but people riding in their cars with the windows down are pretty much doing the same thing. This way, you can readily hear your surroundings, while also enjoying the music you love—and the benefits of listening to music as you go. 

Bike riders are vulnerable on the road.  They are exposed to numerous risks by distracted drivers, car doors opening on them, and other accidents that can lead to serious injury or death. According to the New York Times, bikers who use any kind of device while riding should use precautions.  Using electronic devices while on the road may undermine a personal injury claim. The driver’s defense might claim that you were distracted by the music.  However, if the driver’s actions were negligent, having a good lawyer on your side could make a difference.

Malouf & Malouf are personal injury lawyers in Jackson, Mississippi who believe that everyone should be able to safely ride on our roads.  Whether you are in a car or on a bicycle, please be cautious and drive safely.   If you have questions about a recent injury you or a loved one suffered, visit us at https://Malouf.Law/ to learn more about your rights.

Malouf & Malouf, PLLC 501 E Capitol St. Jackson, MS 39201 Phone Number: (601) 522-2222

Categories: Distracted Driving