Article

The use and risk of portable electronic devices while cycling among different age groups

SWOV, Netherlands.
Journal of safety research (Impact Factor: 1.34). 02/2012; 43(1):1-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsr.2011.08.007
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

In the Netherlands, a survey was set up to monitor the extent of the use of portable, electronic devices while cycling amongst different age groups of cyclists and to estimate the possible consequences for safety.
The main research questions concerned age differences in the self-reported use of electronic devices while cycling, self-reported crash involvement and risk, and self-reported compensatory behaviour. Teen cyclists (12-17 years) and young adult cyclists (18-34 years) were more frequent users, and also more indiscriminate users of portable devices while cycling than middle-aged and older adult cyclists (35-49 years; 50+ years).
After statistical correction for influences on crash risk of urbanization level, weekly time spent cycling, and cycling in more demanding traffic situations, the odds of being involved in a bicycle crash were estimated to be higher for teen cyclists and young adult cyclists who used electronic devices on every trip compared to same age groups cyclists who never used these devices. For middle-aged and older adult cyclists, the use of portable electronic devices was not a significant predictor of bicycle crashes, but frequency of cycling in demanding traffic situations was. Possible implications for education or legal measures are discussed.
Results may inform researchers, policy makers, and cyclists themselves. Educational campaigns may use risk information to warn young cyclists about risk of device use while cycling.

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