The U.S. Sun: “Drivers are just realizing wearing headphones behind the wheel is illegal – you could face $150 fines and jail time,” Kristen Brown

Normally, pedestrians aren’t subject to fines or jail time for wearing headphones while walking but wearing headphones can undermine legal claims when harmed by a driver.

For instance, if a pedestrian is injured in a crosswalk by a moving vehicle while wearing headphones, it can be argued in court that the pedestrian may be at fault for not being fully aware of their surroundings.

Steve Vaccaro, a lawyer who specializes in representing pedestrians and cyclists who have been harmed by vehicles, warns that judges and juries can hold the plaintiff accountable if they were distracted.

I have had cases where I believe the jury has held it against a pedestrian even for just having a phone with them,” says Vaccaro to the New York Times. “The defense counsel makes a huge deal out of that.”