It’s a common sight on the road: the focused driver with white ear buds and trailing wires. But common or not, it may not be strictly, well, street legal.
Lifehacker has teamed up with the American Automobile Association (AAA) to create a new interactive U.S. map breaking down the relevant laws on headphone use by drivers. And the conclusion?
In four states, it’s “mostly illegal.” Another 33, “mostly legal.” And in the remaining 13, “it’s complicated.”
This last group includes Washington State, for which Lifehacker notes, “It’s illegal to wear headphones and earbuds while driving in Washington — unless those headphones are built into a helmet, or it’s a Bluetooth headset.”
For its part AAA points out even if it is legal, it may not be smart, if those tunes drown out the drone of the unseen semi bearing down on you.
Frank Catalano is a regular GeekWire columnist helping with vacation fill-in duty this week. You can follow Frank on Twitter @FrankCatalano.