If you don’t know the feeling of flying down the highway with the windows down and your favorite track blasting over the speakers, then you’re not living life to the fullest yet. Car speakers give you access to a whole other world of listening to music. The question is, though, can you get in trouble for playing music too loud?
Let’s get this out of the way. Federal law has no rules against the volume at which you can play your music while driving. (Find Law) With that being said, some states, cities and even neighborhoods do have regulations that you have to be careful of, and common courtesy does incline us all to be aware of the noise we’re making in some spaces.
With all of that being said, this is generally what you need to know when you go to immerse yourself in your favorite track while taking your next adventure.
Play It Safe
You can probably find the rules of your local community or state regarding volume of sound in public spaces on Google. If you don’t know, or are traveling a longer distance, it’s best to stick to this rule of thumb. If you can hear it from 50 feet away, it's probably too loud. (Jerry)
Some states, like Florida, can have sound restrictions on vehicles that can be as intense as keeping it within 25 feet of the vehicle. (Sound Proof Living) A majority of places that do have restrictions, however, have the limit somewhere around 50 feet.
In general, just keep in mind that most places do have an overall sound ordinance, or set nighttime quiet hours, in place to keep all residents happy and comfortable. Be self aware and do your best to keep the full volume to the open road, where it is a lot easier to get away with music over the roar of traffic.
What To Do If You Get Pulled Over
This one is simple. If you get pulled over while playing music loudly, it is always in your best interest to turn it down to a level where you can hear the impending conversation.
If it happens to be about the noise you’re making, apologize. Let them know that you weren’t aware of this rule, and promise to be more considerate. We make no promises, but the odds are that you will be let off with the warning.
The only thing left to do after that is not turn the music back up. Easy peasy.
Other things to keep in mind
There are a few other things to keep in mind if you do choose to play your music loudly while driving.
If you happen to listen to particularly explicit music, maybe turn it down, or just be aware of which communities you’re in. Often areas with children or otherwise quieter communities can take issue with this, and may call you out for disrupting peace or creating a public disturbance.
Everyone loves a good bass, but if you choose to change the settings in your car to reflect this, or happen to listen to some really bass heavy music, just remember that bass travels better than treble.
Essentially, this means that even if the music doesn’t sound super loud, the bass is going farther than you might think. Just keep this in mind when you turn up the volume on your favorite track.
Make Sure You Don’t Miss Anything
The last thing you want to do is get caught in front of an ambulance, firetruck, or police officer because you didn’t hear the siren. It is totally normal to get sucked into one sense more than the others, so whatever your audio level is, make sure it isn’t taking away from the rest of your safe driving practices. That is, above all, the most important thing.
Like all of the parties you’ve seen on TV or in real life, people can make noise complaints on you if they are made uncomfortable by the sounds coming out of your car.
In most cases, especially while around others, it is best to play it safe and keep your music at a relatively reasonable level. In the end, enjoy the music that makes you the happiest and have good, clean fun while experiencing your next road trip soundtrack.