Effects of using mobile phones while cycling: A study from the perspectives of manipulation and visual strategies

Kang Jiang, Zhiwei Yang, Zhongxiang Feng, N. N. Sze, Zhenhua Yu, Zhipeng Huang, Jiajia Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Bicycles have become one of the major modes of urban public travel. Moreover, the high number of bicycle accidents has created challenges for road traffic safety. In addition, a relationship exists between single-handed use of handlebars and the use of mobile phones while cycling, which increases the risk of cycling. The current study considers not only the impact of mobile phone use while cycling on the safety of cyclists but also the impact of the mental load of a distracting task on cycling safety. Thirty-two college students were recruited to participate in a cycling experiment with distractions that was carried out on both campus and off-campus roads. A paired t-test was used to analyze cyclists' performance under different distraction states. The results show that when performing distracting tasks, the speed of cycling is significantly reduced, the acceleration and rate of change in the deflection angle are significantly increased, and the saccade frequency is significantly reduced. In addition, texting while cycling has a greater negative impact on cycling performance than does calling or listening to music. This study reveals the harm of mobile phone use while cycling by analyzing the effects and characteristics of manipulation performance and visual strategy. The study results can contribute to improving cyclist awareness regarding distraction safety and reducing the occurrence of mobile phone distraction issues. Furthermore, this approach provides a theoretical research basis for scientific and effective intervention and improvement measures in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-303
Number of pages13
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Cycling
  • Manipulation characteristics
  • Mobile phone distraction
  • Visual strategies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Applied Psychology

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