The Dangers of Biking with Headphones in Maryland and Nationwide

Given the state of today’s technology, one hardly has to go a single minute without having access to their music. Indeed, on any given day it is common to see people with their headphones in while engaged in a wide variety of activities including running, walking their dog, riding on public transportation, shopping and riding their bike. And while this unrestrained access to media provides comfort for many, it can also be dangerous.

According to a recent news report, bicyclists are being warned not to ride with large noise-cancelling headphones. The article discusses the death of a 30-year-old investment banker who was run over by a bus while he was riding his bike while wearing over-the-ear headphones.

Experts explained that it is important for bicyclists to be able to hear – and not just see – their surroundings, and that having headphones in while riding prevents bicyclists from taking in much of the surrounding noise. These experts argue that this may result in a situation where a bicyclist is involved in an accident that they may have otherwise been able to avoid. If you were injured while riding a bicycle, contact a Maryland bicycle accident attorney to discuss your options.

Whose Job Is It to Avoid an Accident?

As a general rule, motorists owe a duty of care to those with whom they share the road. This duty requires drivers operate their vehicle in a safe and responsible manner. When a driver violates the duty of care owed to other drivers, they can be held liable for any injuries caused as a result.

Somewhat at odds with that general rule is Maryland’s doctrine of contributory negligence, which bars an accident victim from recovering for their injuries if they are found to be partly at fault for the accident resulting in their injuries. Although Maryland is one of only a few jurisdictions that still employs the doctrine of contributory negligence (which also includes Washington, D.C. and Virginia), the state’s high court upheld application of the doctrine in a 2013 case.

Even under a contributory negligence analysis, however, it is not incumbent on a bicyclist to avoid an unforeseeable accident that is the result of another party’s negligence. Thus, whether the fact that a bicyclist was wearing headphones at the time of an accident may not be relevant to every Maryland bicycle accident case, depending on whether there is any allegation that the bicyclist was at fault for causing the collision.

Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Bicycle Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland bicycle accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. While the rules of recovery in Maryland are strict, do not let uninformed or biased opinions prevent you from pursuing a claim for compensation. Instead, call the dedicated Maryland personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. We offer Maryland bicycle accident victims a free consultation to discuss their case and how we can help. To learn more, call 410-654-3600 to schedule your free consultation today.

More Blog Posts:

Is Evidence of a Motorcyclist’s Failure to Wear a Helmet Admissible as Evidence of His Own Negligence?, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published September 27, 2018.

Determining Liability in Maryland Bicycle Accidents, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published September 6, 2018.


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