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Why you should avoid wearing headphones while cycling

On Behalf of | Aug 12, 2022 | Bicycle Accidents

New York is one of the biggest cycling cities in the country. All of the other vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians on the road make for a lot of moving parts to keep track of when maneuvering through the city.

Wearing headphones while cycling – especially in such a busy city – can create extra safety risks for cyclists. In today’s post, we examine three key reasons to keep your ears clear while cycling:

Legal requirement

Under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law 375 24-a, it is illegal to ride a bicycle while wearing headphones or ear buds covering both ears. It is acceptable, however, to listen to music in one ear while riding.

Sensory deprivation

One of the core ways of being alerted to danger on the road is through sound. It might be a honk, a screech, a yell, or a bike bell. If you’re unable to hear these, you’re missing a lot of critical – potentially life-saving – information on the road.


When you’re wearing headphones, it can be easy to get wrapped up in the song or podcast you’re listening to. Adding any unnecessary stimuli or distractions while cycling takes your attention off the road, which can increase your chances of an accident.

Cycling in New York is not for the faint of heart. It requires alertness and quick thinking. However, you can’t control every variable on the road, and even the most experienced cyclists can find themselves involved in an accident.

Most cycling accidents are between a bicycle and a motor vehicle. The results are often disastrous – or even fatal – for the cyclist. If you have been involved in such a crash, it’s important to discuss your situation with a personal injury attorney experienced in bicycle accident cases. They can work to assess the full scope of your short- and long-term damages and advocate for your maximum compensation to help get your life back on track.


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