Cycling and sounds: the impact of the use of electronic devices on cycling safety

The role of auditory perception of traffic sounds has often been stressed, especially for vulnerable road users such as cyclists or (visually impaired) pedestrians. This often in relation to two growing trends feared to negatively affect the use of auditory signals by road users: popularity of electronic devices (e.g. mobile phones, portable music players) and the number of quiet electric cars. Notwithstanding the concerns about impact of both trends on the safety of vulnerable road users, the potential safety implications of limited auditory information available while cycling have not been systematically studied yet. This paper consolidates current knowledge about the use of electronic devices in relation to cycling safety. Based on a proposed conceptual model, the paper provides a qualitative estimation of the extent to which limited availability of auditory information (caused by the use of electronic devices) while cycling constitutes a road safety hazard. Literature analysing official and self-reported crash data and research into the effects of using electronic devices on cycling performance have been used. Results suggest that the concerns about the use of electronic devices while cycling are justified. Listening to music and talking on the phone negatively influence cycling performance and self-reported crash risk. However, it is difficult to prove that these effects are (only) due to the limited availability of auditory information. (Paper No. 15-P).


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 16p
  • Monograph Title: 3rd International Conference on Driver Distraction and Inattention (DDI2013), September 4-6, 2013, Gothenburg, Sweden

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01597381
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)
  • Files: ITRD, VTI
  • Created Date: Apr 27 2016 11:32AM