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Or is it simply an unecessary and dangerous distraction?

For many cyclists, a bike ride is a chance to get away from the distractions and diversions of modern life and enjoy the simple pleasures of fresh air, open countryside and exercise.

Yes, these days we’re more likely than not to take a phone with us for emergencies but usually not with the express intention of making and receiving calls while on the move. But according to one manufacturer there is a market for a helmet with a built-in phone, allowing you to do just that without the need to stop, reports SF Gate.

The bike blog tells us that manufacturers, UClear, claim that “Military Technology Solves Your Communication Problems”. Alternatively, some might say that the helmet’s built-in Bluetooth device creates an attention-diverting problem.

Researchers at the Western Washington University in the USA, have concluded that even pedestrians cannot walk in a straight line while talking on a mobile phone,  dubbing the phenomenon “attentional blindness”.

Professor Ira Hyman, a psychologist who led the study said: “Cell phone use causes people to be oblivious to their surroundings while engaged in even a simple task such as walking.

“Cell phone users walk more slowly, change directions and weave more often - and fail to notice interesting and novel objects. The effect appears to be caused by the distraction of a cell phone conversation, because people walking in pairs did not display the same range of problems. Something about the conversation seems to limit attentional capacity.

“If people experience so much difficulty performing the task of walking when they’re on a cell phone, just think what this means when put into the context of driving safety. People should not drive while talking on a cell phone.”