Research highlights the potential dangers of distractions for cyclists, particularly those related to mobile phone use and listening to music. Here’s a breakdown of the findings: 

Mobile Phone Use: 

  • Impaired situational awareness: Cyclists engaged with their phones tend to miss critical visual and auditory cues like traffic signals, approaching vehicles, and road/roadside/path hazards. 
  • Increased dangerous behaviour: Studies show a correlation between phone use and unsafe cycling practices like wrong-way riding, risky intersection crossings, and erratic manoeuvring. 
  • Texting appears most detrimental: Compared to other phone activities, texting has been identified as the most hazardous, affecting a cyclist’s focus, lane positioning, and scanning behaviour. 

Listening to Music: 

  • Missed auditory information: Headphones and loud music can mask traffic sounds like horns, bells, and sirens, impacting a cyclist’s ability to react to potential threats. 
  • Increased traffic violations: Research suggests a link between music and unsafe cycling behaviour such as ignoring traffic signals, riding the wrong way, or using pedestrian crossings improperly. 
  • No significant change in speed or lane position: Unlike phone use, music appears not to directly affect cycling speed or lane positioning. 

Check out the details here (includes information about distraction for drivers, walkers and cyclists):   


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