Exploring bicyclists' risk-taking behaviour: individual, social and contextual factors and their interaction

    Project Details



    The fast and ongoing development of mobile electronic devices increases the demand for newer research on how they affect the behaviour and safety of cyclists.

    A central characteristic to the performance of secondary tasks while bicycling is that the action is self enforced. This makes the problem different from other external distractors, but also gives an opportunity to address the cyclist’s behaviour, if underlying factors behind the practice can be revealed. Research on car drivers’ use of mobile phones, has shown a link between spatial context and self-enforced risk-taking behaviour (Christoph et al., 2018). Further, attitudes and culture are known to affect bicyclists’ behaviour and risk-perception (Şimşekoğlu et al., 2012). However, whether or not similar relations between the spatial context, individual and socio-cultural factors and self enforced risk-taking behaviour exist for cyclists, is not clear yet. This project aims to explore factors contributing to cyclists’ self-enforced risk-taking behaviours on an individual, a social and contextual level

    Research questions

    •Which factors contribute to the performance of secondary tasks while cycling?

    •What are the attitudes towards cyclists’ multitasking using mobile devices, and how is the behaviour perceived amongst different subgroups of cyclists?

    •Where and when does the practice of using mobile devices while cycling take place?

    •How do different types of contexts, interpersonal dynamics and culture enhance or reduce risk-taking behaviours amongst cyclists?

    As part of the studies, influence from individual factors such as demography, social norms, riding experience and types of bicycle will be taken into account. These are supplemented by deeper insights about the conceptualization of risk-taking behaviours as legitimate or illegitimate, the concept of other cyclists, social motives for risk-taking behaviour and the influence of spatial context.

    Method and Theory The project is based on a social psychological approach to road safety behaviour.

    Expected outcome The project will increase the understanding of bicyclists’ performance of secondary tasks in relation to spatial context, social dynamics and individual factors. It will contribute with knowledge on underlying factors behind self-enforced risk behaviours as well as on the impact of technological development within handheld devices on traffic safety. The research will provide scientific background for safe road design and future preventive interventions to reduce self-enforced risk behaviours while cycling.
    Effective start/end date01/09/201804/03/2022


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