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Is listening to music on a bicycle allowed in Germany?

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Listening to music on a bicycle with headphones makes some routes less boring. But is that actually allowed?

Yes and maybe? The road traffic regulations say that vision and hearing must not be restricted when driving a vehicle. That means: cyclists should still be able to hear acoustic warning signals such as bells and sirens or nearby driving noises as well as road traffic. Find out when and how listening to music on a bicycle is allowed below.

Ride your bike consciously to avoid accidents

Motorists often don’t have a good word for cyclists. Again and again the latter have to be accused of driving recklessly, disregarding traffic regulations and being inattentive . In terms of attention, the debate does not cool down when it turns out that many people put on headphones , listen to loud music on the bike and make mistakes as a result.

But is it even allowed to listen to music while cycling? Or does the applicable traffic law provide for a fine here? This guide has the right answers ready.

You will not only find out what consequences it has in terms of traffic law if you listen to music and do not pay attention while cycling. You will also be informed about the consequences to be expected in the event of a traffic accident.


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listening to music on a bicycle

FAQ: Listening to music on a bicycle

Can I listen to music while cycling?

Yes, it is generally not forbidden to listen to music while riding a bike.

What should you watch out for when cycling with music?

Cyclists who listen to music on the bike must set the volume so that they can still hear acoustic warning signals such as ringing or sirens.

What happens if music is the cause of the accident while cycling?

If you cause an accident as a cyclist because you listened to music too loudly on the bike, it can happen that claims for damages and compensation for pain and suffering are completely void.

listening to music on a bicycle

Music on the bike, resounding through headphones or loudspeakers, can ensure a fun ride. As with other sporting activities, the right rhythm has a driving effect and makes the driving time fly by. 

Indeed, it is not illegal to listen to music in this case . When cycling, however, the following guideline applies: the volume must be selected so that your own road safety and that of other road users are not endangered.

So if you want to listen to music, you have to be careful when cycling that your hearing is not impaired too much. Well over 25 years ago, the Cologne Higher Regional Court ruled that music enjoyment is legal as long as this requirement is met (Az. Ss 12/87). In the then ruling it was still a Walkman. On today’s devices such as MP3 players and smartphones the issue is gray.

Cyclists can also use headphones and happily indulge in music while driving. It is the same with drivers. However by the siren of a sick-wagens are no longer heard the fringes of legality is exceeded.

If you are listening to music, you should also be able to hear other cyclists ringing , warning calls and other driving noises from nearby vehicles while cycling . This is the only way to ensure a safe journey. An obstruction through music can otherwise result in a fine of 15 euros from the police.

listening to music on a bicycle

When music leads to an accident

So basically it is not a problem to listen to music. However, if an accident occurs while cycling with loud music, cyclists can experience a rude awakening.

So it is possible that in such cases the claims for damages and compensation for pain and suffering will be completely forfeited. The following factors also play a role:

  • A general operational hazard is assumed for cars. But if road users listen to music and thereby commit a particularly serious offense while cycling, you can still be assigned the full guilt.
  • Even if a driver in a car accident in such a situation complicity determine is pain and suffering claims can be completely eliminated, or at least lower.

The question “Can you listen to music on the bike?” Can therefore be answered in the affirmative. However, there may be disadvantages in certain situations depending on the circumstances. Here, bike lovers should make cautious and conscientious decisions before turning the headphone volume control too far.

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