Bicyclists’ adaptation strategies when interacting with text messages in urban environments

Cyclists’ use of mobile phones in traffic has typically been studied in controlled experiments. How cyclists adapt their behaviour when they are not limited to a certain set of behaviours has not been investigated to any large extent. The aims of this study are to explore how cyclists adapt when texting and listening to music in a complex urban environment, and if they compensate sufficiently to maintain safe traffic behaviour. Forty-one cyclists participated in a semi-controlled study, using their own bike and smartphone in real traffic. They were equipped with eye tracking glasses and travelled two laps completing a total of 6 km divided into six segments. For one of the laps, the cyclists were requested to listen to music. On three occasions, they received a text message to their phone, which they were supposed to handle as they normally would when cycling. Static minimum required attention measures were used to examine the influence on attention. The results show that listening to music while cycling did not affect workload, speed, SMS interaction or attention. Seven different adaptation behaviours were identified when the cyclists dealt with received text messages. One-fourth of the text messages were replied to while cycling. In general, the cyclists manage to integrate SMS interactions with their cycling behaviour. Nevertheless, there were two occasions when basic attention criteria were violated while texting, which motivate further studies.


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  • Accession Number: 01679593
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 24 2018 9:17AM