Lately, I have seen quite a few people wearing earbuds while operating a vehicle around Sioux Falls.

Are they listening to music? A podcast? On a phone call, who knows!

But what I did wonder was if it's illegal to be wearing earbuds while driving a vehicle in the state of South Dakota? Is it considered a distraction while driving at all?

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Well, as it turns out, at least in our state, it isn't illegal here in South Dakota as there is no law regarding headphone usage while driving but in these states; wearing headphones is considered illegal for drivers according to The News Wheel.

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Ohio
  • Rhode Island
  • Virginia
  • Washington

In some states, it is considered 'illegal with exceptions'.

The exception being that only one earbud is being worn by the driver while taking a phone call; not sure how that could be determined.

However, these are the states that along with South Dakota also don't have any laws regarding headphone usage while driving:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

On the other hand, not being able to hear another car's horn, emergency vehicle's sirens, or any other noise associated while driving can be dangerous.

So if you are one of the people who wear headphones while driving, try to have the volume at a reasonable level and perhaps only one earbud in at a time just in case.

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Source: The News Wheel