Can You Wear AirPods While Driving? (Is It Illegal?) – 2024

AirPods has become a part of our daily life. Many people always wear AirPods, even while on a tanning bed and sauna or steaming room.

All thanks to the active noise cancellation and the background noise features, AirPods help you listen to the background sound even when wearing them.

Many people wonder if it is okay to wear AirPods while driving. Depending on the state and country you are from, the rules for wearing headphones or earphones while driving change.

To get an immersive music experience, people tend to wear AirPods while driving. In terms quality, listening to music from AirPods is far way better and superior when compared with the car stereo. This is the reason why people wear AirPods while driving.

Can I Wear AirPods While Driving

It is illegal to wear AirPods in both ears while driving, even if you are not listening to any music. The driver should be fully aware of his environment when driving. Being able to listen to the outside noise helps to avoid many accidents. However, in certain places, wearing AirPods only in one ear is made legal.

The latest models of Apple AirPods come with advanced features like active noise cancellation and background noise isolation.

So even if you wear AirPods and do not listen to any music, you won’t be able to fully hear or understand what’s happening outside.

On the other hand, if you wear AirPods and listen to music, you won’t be able to hear anything at all, including the honking of other vehicles or emergency sirens.

When drivers wear AirPods, they may not correctly hear the sounds of emergency vehicles, including ambulances, police vans, fire engine trucks, and more. The driver should be able to hear the siren to act accordingly and move out of the way.

These are a few reasons why wearing AirPods when driving is not allowed in many states in the United States and elsewhere.

Driving With AirPods

Why Is It Not Safe To Drive With Headphones?

Listening to the traffic sounds and being aware of the surroundings is extremely important while driving a vehicle.

Wearing earbuds or headphones like the AirPods Pro or AirPods Max will not let you hear the traffic sounds or know what’s happening around you.

Noise cancellation technology in AirPods does not let you know or hear the outside traffic, which is the main reason why you should avoid wearing them anyways.

When driving a vehicle, the driver should always be aware of the road and his surroundings. Wearing AirPods distracts the driver leading to an accident.

There have been many instances where drivers were wearing AirPods and could not move the vehicle out of the way when ambulances and other emergency vehicles came behind them with sirens.

Where Wearing AirPods While Driving Is Illegal

Wearing AirPods while driving is illegal in almost all states in the United States of America.

Below is a list of a few states where it is illegal to use AirPods while driving.

  • Alaska
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Ohio
  • Washington
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Virginia
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • New York

Can I Talk On The Phone While Driving

Talking on the phone while driving is legal, provided that you use the car’s built-in stereo system and not on earphones or headphones like the AirPods Pro or AirPods Max.

Now you might wonder why it is okay to use the car’s Bluetooth system but not AirPods.

When you talk on the phone via the car’s stereo system, you can hear all other traffic sounds, including an emergency vehicle siren. But when you use AirPods with active noise cancellation, you won’t be able to listen to the traffic sound.

In certain states, using only one AirPods on any ear is legal.

Exceptions To The Law

Even though it is illegal to wear headphones or earphones, or other radio-transmitting devices on your ears while driving, there are certain exceptions to the law in very specific cases.

  • Using hearing aid devices by disabled people or people in need is legal.
  • Using communication gadgets by an emergency medical service person while driving is considered okay.
  • Using communication gadgets by firefighters is legal, too.

Wearing AirPods While Driving: Law Around The Globe

By now, you might have already understood wearing AirPods on both your ears while driving is illegal in many states in the United States. But it is to be noted that there isn’t any nationwide ban on wearing Apple AirPods when driving.

United States have made it clear that wearing AirPods is illegal while driving, but that’s not the case everywhere.

For example, in the UK, it is not illegal for people to wear AirPods been driving. But in Australia, it is illegal to wear headphones while driving.

If you traveling to a new country and plan to drive a car, and sure you do your research to find out if it is illegal to wear AirPods while driving and then proceed.

What’s Next?

AirPods distract the driver while driving the vehicle and it could cost the driver’s or other people’s life.

It is recommended that you do not wear or use AirPods while driving.

You should be aware of your surroundings while driving the vehicle to let emergency service vehicles like ambulances or fire fighter pass you and hear other vehicles honking.

If your car does not have a Bluetooth-enabled stereo, but you want to talk on the phone, consider putting the phone on speakerphone or using AirPods only in one ear.