How often do cyclists use their smartphones and how does this affect road safety?


Many cyclists occasionally use their smartphones while cycling; relatively more youngsters than adults. Table 3 shows the self-reported smartphone use by cyclists, broken down by activity and age group [36]. Texting and navigating are the most common smartphone activities, while youngsters also, quite often, play music.

Listening to music is very popular among cyclists, particularly among young cyclists. Over 70% of the cyclists aged 16 to 18 say they sometimes listen to music while cycling [37]. US research among drivers [38] shows that use of telephone screens in particular, for example to text or search for something online, increases crash risk 2.5 times compared to crash risk for drivers not engaged in these activities. Hardly anything is known about a possible risk increase due to smartphone use by cyclists. Additional information on distraction in traffic can be found in SWOV fact sheet Distraction in traffic.


Table 3. Percentage of adult cyclists (over-18s) and young cyclists (aged 12 to 17) that report having occasionally engaged in distracting activities while cycling. Source: [36].

Part of fact sheet


In the Netherlands, over a third of road deaths and well over two thirds of serious road injuries are cyclists. Cyclist fatality risk (the number of Meer

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