Can a Cyclist Wear Headphones While Riding a Bike in Florida

For many the answer to this question may come as a bit of a surprise. Did you know it is against the law to wear headphones or earbuds while riding a bicycle in Florida? Turns out, Florida is one of only two states (with the other being Maryland) that does not permit the use of headphones while riding a bicycle. Fla. Stat. §316.304 states:

No person shall operate a vehicle while wearing a headset, headphone, or other listening device, other than a hearing aid or instrument for the improvement of defective human hearing.

Remember that a bicycle is considered a vehicle. This prohibition still applies when riding on a sidewalk. Even though cyclists on the sidewalk have the rights and responsibilities of pedestrians, the bicycle is still governed as a “vehicle” and therefore this law applies.

Headphones interfere with hearing ambient traffic as well as audible warnings from other cyclists and pedestrians. The statute could also be used as evidence of comparative fault if a crash occurred and you were wearing headphones at the time. It would be argued that you should have heard the approaching vehicle.

Jim Dodson
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A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.