We've learned a lot about Iowa driving laws of late. Can you drive barefoot in Iowa? Can you Legally drive with a pet on your lap in Iowa? All good questions, all important things to know. Not only do you want to make sure you're obeying the law every time you operate a motor vehicle, but you also want to do everything you can to keep yourself and those around you safe. I have another question for you...

Do you wear headphones while driving? I can't. I don't know why it makes me feel uncomfortable but for some reason it does. It might have to do with being able to hear sirens from emergency vehicles or if someone is honking their horn.

I might sound like an old man yelling at a cloud here but if the speakers in your car work, why wouldn't you just use those?  I was pretty surprised to find out how many states it is legal to wear headphones while driving. Is Iowa one of them?

Unsplash - Alejandro Luengo
Unsplash - Alejandro Luengo

According to Black Hawk County Sherrif, Tony Thompson,

There is not an Iowa law that prohibits the wearing of headphones while driving, though distracted driving is a codified charge which could be pursued in appropriate conditions depending on the situation.  In fact, an earbud and hands-free phone use would be encouraged by law enforcement over some of the crazy things that we’ve witnessed on our roadways!


Where Can You Legally Drive With Headphones

Yes, according to, Sherrif Tony as well as, Statesman, it is perfectly legal to drive with headphones in the state of Iowa. While this may be dangerous to do, you are not breaking the law. You're also not breaking the law by wearing headphones while driving in these midwestern states; Nebraska, Missouri, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, and North and South Dakota.

There are a few neighboring states you'll want to take your headphones out if you're ever visiting. Minnesota and Illinois both prohibit the use of headphones while driving.

Why You Shouldn't Drive With Headphones

Even if you aren't breaking any laws you probably shouldn't be blocking your hearing while driving. According to VLaw, wearing headphones can cause a variety of different problems.

As mentioned before you may block being able to hear sirens from emergency vehicles, you might not hear passengers in your car alerting you to possible danger, and you might not hear a train or train crossing tracks getting ready to drop. It's possible you could also miss the sound of your car having mechanical problems, which can put you, your passengers, and other drivers in danger.

As someone who isn't out to tell you how to live your life, you can do what you like. If you do want to drive with headphones in, just remember it can be an extremely dangerous thing to do for not only yourself but other users of the roadway.

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