Walking, talking, cycling and inattention

by OldRidgeback   July 1, 2010  

The issue of inattention doesn't just apply to drivers but to pedestrians and cyclists too. I remember a recent debate right here on this website about the use of iPods while cycling. I know what I think about that and made my point at the time but this article throws up some good data:


5 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Someone I know was listening to her iPod and apparently walked across the road in the dark without looking. She didn't hear the motorcycle and the motorcyclist didn't see her until it was too late. There were no independent witnesses.
She received some compensation.
She had a knee badly injured and a broken leg. She's lost her job and she's just had her knee operated on - again.

I suspect it was a another case of iPod zombie.

It doesn't matter whether walking or cycling, hearing the traffic is essential.

posted by Recumbenteer [155 posts]
5th July 2010 - 9:42


I disagree - hearing the traffic is not essential. If it were, we'd just be locking deaf people up, or giving them some whte-stick equivalent they had to use at all times.

What is essential is paying attention. It's unrealistic to expect that everyone (cyclist, pedestrian, whatever) is going to stop using these devices, and it would be unenforceable to ban them all.

I use an MP3 player, but with standard headphones, so that my ear isn't sealed against other sound - I can listen to a radio show just like a driver can, and still pay attention to my surroundings.

timlennon's picture

posted by timlennon [229 posts]
5th July 2010 - 13:16


As with helmets...each to his/her own. I know in my case my ears have saved my butt several times from taxis cutting traffic on my shoulder and m.bikes accelerating up behind in the bus lane.

snowstorm's picture

posted by snowstorm [8 posts]
6th July 2010 - 23:52


I was witness to an RTA in which a cyclist looking to turn right swerved across the path of a bus overtaking him (I was front seat, top deck).

Not brilliant cycling - didn't look back, did a last-second slight wave to indicate before cutting across bus, which he hadn't seen, could have been really nasty but bus driver was very alert to situation, cyclist came off but nothing broken as far as medics could tell.

Thing is, he may not have been looking out for the bus - but I'm pretty sure if he hadn't been wearing headphones, he'd have heard it.

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [9376 posts]
7th July 2010 - 1:06


I would never use earphones or an mp3 player while cycling-need to be alert and ready to stop-and if you're listening to music-you're not going fast enough Wink
If you must-then get one ear only plug and thats for near-side kerb ear so you can hear using your right ear for motor vehicles. Cool

And do what motorcyclists do-look over your right shoulder and if you're a true roadie-under your right armpit view. Cool
Anyone used those new head tube mirrors yet? Sick

I like my bike but it needs a hidden 25cc motor Smile

Fish_n_Chips's picture

posted by Fish_n_Chips [380 posts]
7th July 2010 - 21:23