Is It Illegal to Wear Headphones When You Drive in Kansas City?

Were you or a loved one injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver? Call us in Kansas City today to schedule a free consultation.Many people who wear headphones to listen to music or podcasts often wonder if they are legally allowed to do so when driving in Kansas City, MO. There are various reasons why they may want to do this, such as the person next to them wants to listen to something else, their child in the back seat is asleep, or they simply enjoy wearing their headphones at all times. However, it is important to keep in mind that headphones can become a distraction while you are driving as you may be unable to give your full attention to the task at hand.

There is currently no law for wearing headphones while driving in Kansas City and other cities throughout the state of Missouri. Law enforcement warns against using them as they are dangerous for drivers and those around them. However, it is not considered illegal at this time.

Why is wearing headphones while driving risky?

When you are driving while wearing headphones, you put yourself, your passengers, and other drivers and pedestrians on the roads at risk. This is because your headphones can become a distraction, prevent you from hearing ambulances, fire trucks, and police sirens or traffic around you, and cause you to make simple mistakes that can lead to serious accidents.

Some might argue that wearing headphones while driving is similar to listening to the radio or a CD through the car’s speakers, however, it is very different. When you put on headphones or wear earbuds, you are effectively drowning out the typical noises heard while driving, which can lead to serious accidents resulting in catastrophic injuries and death. No matter how loud you have your vehicle’s speakers, you are more likely to hear the siren of an emergency vehicle or the horn of another car compared to wearing headphones or earbuds.

That is why it is in your best interest to not drive with headphones on. This will help keep you and everyone else safe while on the roads. The only time a person should wear headphones while driving is if the headphones are made for someone who is deaf or hard of hearing. Otherwise, you should dedicate your entire attention to the roadways when behind the wheel.

What if I cause an accident while driving with headphones on?

If you cause a car accident while driving with headphones on, there is a good chance that you will be held liable for the accident as well as be required to pay the victim of the accident compensation for their damages. Even though it is not against the law to drive with headphones on in Kansas City, MO, you still have the duty to drive a vehicle in a safe manner, which means that you cannot participate in distracted or reckless driving. If the victim of the accident can prove that your headphones were a distraction and that you were driving carelessly or recklessly as a result, you may end up facing a lawsuit.

How to hold a driver accountable for a crash they caused while wearing headphones

Suffering an injury in a car accident caused by a driver wearing headphones does not prevent you from recovering compensation even though there is no law against it. Your best option is to consult an experienced Kansas City car accident attorney as soon as possible following the crash. Your injuries should not prevent you from earning a living or returning to the life you once enjoyed. If they do, you need to hold the responsible party accountable.


Hopefully you called 911 immediately after the crash, which led to the police responding to the scene. If so, the driver who caused the crash should have been issued a ticket for distracted driving due to wearing headphones while behind the wheel. If so, we can use that ticket as part of our proof that you should not be held liable for your injuries.

On top of the at-fault driver being issued a ticket, you can hold them accountable in a civil claim by filing a personal injury lawsuit. This is especially important if their insurance company does not offer a large enough settlement for your injuries or the driver did not have enough coverage on their policy to compensate you appropriately for your injuries. You can seek compensation for the following with the help of a car accident attorney:

  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Rehabilitative costs
  • Necessary repairs to your home and vehicle to make them handicap accessible
  • Lost wages and future missed time at work
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium

Every car accident case is different. The amount of compensation you can receive will be based on various factors, including the following:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • How long doctors believe you will take to completely recover
  • If doctors feel you will not completely recover
  • If the accident resulted in a fatality
  • How much time you are expected to miss at work
  • The level of negligence exhibited by the at-fault driver

If you or a family member have been severely injured by a distracted driver, please reach out to the Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys right away. Our car accident lawyers know the ins and outs of these types of accidents, and we will stand up and fight for the justice and compensation you deserve. Call our office or submit our contact form today to get started. We encourage you to also visit our Kansas City, MO office or schedule an appointment at our offices in Lee’s Summit, Parkville and St. Joseph (MO); Olathe, Kansas City, and Overland Park (KS).