The role of sound for cyclists: smartphones, music players and quiet vehicles

Because electronic devices (smartphones, music players) are often used when cycling and the number of quiet vehicles increases, Agnieszka Stelling’s PhD research investigates the role of sound in safe traffic participation.

Research questions

  1. What are the consequences of the lack of auditory information (due to the use of devices and quiet cars) for cycling safety?
  2. Are measures that have been taken in other countries, e.g. a legal ban on the (handheld) use of a phone on the bicycle, effective enough or are alternative measures required?


Listening to music and mobile phone use while cycling and an expected increase in the number of almost noiseless cars, are the causes of less and less auditory information being available for the cyclist. The lack of auditory information can complicate the assessment of traffic situations and may lead to more crashes. Since the use of electronic devices while cycling (call, music listening, but also texting and browsing the internet) is already extensive and the number of silent (electric) cars is expected to increase in the coming years, the road safety of cyclists – already a relatively large problem – will be increasingly under threat.

Print this page

Project nr.



Start date: 01 Jan 2016
End date: 31 Dec 2016