Special Report: Earbuds on the Highways

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — State law bans drivers from texting while driving. But there’s no state law about keeping your ears open to what’s going on around you.

It’s the distraction for drivers that’s still legal.

Few people know how easily we can drown out emergencies better than a state trooper rushing to get to one.

“Every day it happens. It happens to me two or three times a day,” Trooper Kelly Rhodes, of the North Carolina Highway Patrol, said.

In this plugged-in world, focusing our attention is that much harder.

“Whenever I see someone and they have earphones in while they’re driving, it makes me a little nervous. Because what if there was an ambulance behind them?” Allison Russel, of Asheville, said.

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