We all know that Michigan takes hands-free driving very seriously, but headphones while driving fits into a weird grey area.

Back when my parents bought me my first vehicle, it didn't have a radio and the truck was too loud for a 2010 smartphone in a cup holder to be loud enough to play music at an audible level. So I tried the headphones thing and absolutely hated it. I felt extra paranoid about what was going on around me which made me an incredibly distracted driver.

For those who can pull it off safely, I commend you. Still, there is enough risk that many states have made it illegal to drive with headphones on.

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In Michigan, having a cell phone or other device in your hand is considered distracted driving, even if you aren't looking at the phone or device. If the device is mounted, you're in the clear though. The penalties for distracted driving scale with each offense ranging from a $100 fine on the first offense to needing to complete a “basic driver improvement course” and two points against the driver's record.

But does using headphones fall under this law?

The answer is a somewhat surprising no, at least for now. Of course, it is discretionary if an officer pulls you over and credits your poor driving performance to the headphones, you could be in some kind of trouble.

That said, Michigan is one of 32 states across the country that don't have any laws concerning the practice.

It is worth noting for Michigan drivers who often leave the Mitten State that nearby Illinois and Minnesota are among the eight states where it is illegal to drive with headphones.

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