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Is it illegal to drive a truck with headphones on?

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It is important for truck drivers to consider the implications of listening to headphones while driving. Truck drivers often work very long hours, so drivers need to entertain themselves on the road in one way or the other. However, headphones can be a danger to the driver and those around them and this is what we will discuss today.

Although there is no set rule against wearing headphones while driving, it is important to consider the impact of peripheral noise on the driver on the road. Audio devices of any kind can detract from your ability to drive safely on the road and act as a huge distraction for all drivers. The reason for this is that headphones block out surrounding noise, including noise from traffic, emergency sirens, and other road users. It can quickly become a hazard as you are essentially driving a large vehicle with blinkers on.

If the police believe that you are driving in a way that is unsafe on the road, you can be charged for this. Wearing headphones is one of the potential causes for dangerous driving and you may face a real penalty for this mistake. If you imagine driving a truck in heels or flip flops, you don’t have control over the vehicle in the same way and this can cause you to be a danger to others. The same applies to wearing headphones as the dulling of your hearing can truly impede your ability to understand what is happening around you and how to deal with it safely.

Careless driving carries a fine of £100 on the spot as well as 3 points in your license and many things can be factored into this decision being made. If the case seems to be more serious. It can be taken further and a fine of up to £5000 can be given. Along with 9 penalty points. It is crucial for you as a driver, whether it be a small car or a huge truck, to demonstrate focus and alertness always on the road.

The Highway Code carries advice for the driver to avoid any distractions on the road, such as talking or loud music to ensure safety on the road. In 2015, France passed a law making it illegal for road users to wear any device in their ear that could emit sound, this included headphones. Anyone breaching this rule would face a £120 (135 Euro) fine as well as 3 pints on their license.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “A really good driver uses all their senses to anticipate problems. "Cutting out your hearing could mean you miss key clues about the road surface such as black ice, or warnings from other road users. "Added to that is the distraction factor of anything you have banging away directly into your ears. "Some types of music have been shown to make drivers speed and be more aggressive, and that intimate podcast you saved up could be so good you start thinking about it and not the road ahead. "Just like eating at the wheel anything that reduces your attention could make you a hazard to yourself and other drivers and riders, and that’s careless driving in our, and the police’s, eyes. "It can be dealt with by a quick fixed penalty fine at the roadside so the chances of getting away with it if spotted are slim. So our advice is can the cans when driving.”

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