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  #21  
Old 11-17-2007, 12:51 AM
digitalq digitalq is offline
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DON'T take this the wrong way please, I am curious and will ask a question and make some arguments. DO NOT take any of the following personally.

How does listening to music or audio books impair anyone's ability to drive? Car audio systems are still legal, right? (I would be more concerned with the cranked up 1000 watt system distracting or impairing someone somehow anyway)

Someone could have some on ear headphones on, at a reasonable level and be far less distracted than someone with a handsfree earbud (trying to converse, and I've seen those that habitually talk with their hands!) and still be able to hear sirens and horns. Maybe even listening to an audio book and not loud music.

Headphones don't bother me at all compared to: holding, dialing, even texting with the cell phone. Shaving. Putting on makeup. Reading the paper book or magazine. Eating. Looking at, fussing with children, especially in the back seat. These are the people that frighten me.

Does that add any perspective?
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  #22  
Old 11-17-2007, 12:55 PM
Tu154 Tu154 is offline
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I think in many places it is illegal to have headphones on,covering both ears. I think it is because it can block out outside noise, like honking or emergency vehicles. I too agree that loud aftermarket stereos would have the same problem, but I am sure there are laws regarding that also.
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  #23  
Old 11-19-2007, 08:33 AM
lejm lejm is offline
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Like, Tu154, I have also always heard that it was illegal because it blocks out noises like honking and sirens. I sometimes have a hard time hearing sirens with just the car radio at a normal volume - so I would imagine that headphones would make it nearly impossible. Over the last year, I have seen a huge increase in drivers with headphones, and I would imagine we'll start to see some PSA or other campaign about how it's illegal/dangerous/etc fairly soon.

FWIW, you can listen to your MP3 player and audio books through your car stereo - I've been listening to external devices through stereos since 1996 when we all used those tape adapters. The technology is there, so there's really not a good reason to use the headphones given the safety issues.

I agree with you about the loud stereos having a similar effect. I don't know if that's considered different because external noise can still get in, or if it's the same and also regulated.

I also agree about all the other potential distractions. But this is one of those things like mom used to say, "Just because everyone else is driving unsafely (jumping off a cliff), does that mean you should too?" If anything, you'd want to be *less* distracted so you can be a safe defensive driver.

And here's a discussion on it over at AskMetafilter.
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  #24  
Old 11-19-2007, 11:15 AM
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mattschuette mattschuette is offline
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Right, it's the noise-blocking aspect of headphones that, to me, makes them dangerous to use while driving. Of course, car stereos are often way too loud to hear outside noise anyway, but headphones even at a low volume level could be a problem. Also, since there are noise-canceling headphones and in ear monitors which really would block a significant amount of noise, I would imagine it is just easier/safer from a law enforcement perspective to ban all types of headphones while driving.

I'm sorry this got off topic... so, while bluetooth headphones in the car may not be a great idea, how about the great benefit of the Pilot that bluetooth head units could be used instead. If the car had convenient controls on the steering wheel, that could be about the safest way to use an MP3 player in your car. I'll admit, I've lost attention to driving momentarily while switching tracks. That's not really any better than having headphones on. So kudos to Insignia for doing what they can to help us out in our cars!
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  #25  
Old 11-19-2007, 12:32 PM
Tu154 Tu154 is offline
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Yes, I think bluetooth is a great option for in the car. There are several head units that have bluetooth, or something like the Parrot Mk6100 if you don't want to replace the factory head unit.
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  #26  
Old 12-03-2007, 08:18 PM
harbingerofdoom harbingerofdoom is offline
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unless of course you are like me and tired of replacing car stereo which is why I picked up an MP3 player in the first place.

CA is one of those places that its not legal to drive with both ears covered. I personally cant stand to have the volume of anything so high that i cant hear anything going on around me, so I dont worry too much about it and have never been pulled over. Much like anything else, if you are driving like an idiot, you are probably going to get pulled over... so dont drive like an idiot...
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  #27  
Old 12-05-2007, 03:39 PM
nobs nobs is offline
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[QUOTE=mattschuette;185000]Right, it's the noise-blocking aspect of headphones that, to me, makes them dangerous to use while driving. Of course, car stereos are often way too loud to hear outside noise anyway, but headphones even at a low volume level could be a problem. Also, since there are noise-canceling headphones and in ear monitors which really would block a significant amount of noise, I would imagine it is just easier/safer from a law enforcement perspective to ban all types of headphones while driving.

I'm sorry this got off topic... QUOTE]
Gotto go with the flow...
Your reasoning implies that deaf folks should not drive due to safety concerns.
This will also help law enforcement to not discriminate, I guess.
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