SWOV Catalogus


Elderly cyclists’ opinions on safe and joyful cycling.
20121655 e ST (In: 20121655 ST [electronic version only])
Leden, L.
In: Engineering solutions to improve traffic safety in urban areas - addressing technical, social and behavioural aspects : papers and presentations presented at the 21st workshop of the International Cooperation on Theories and Concepts in Traffic Safety ICTCT, Riga, Latvia, October 30-31, 2008, Pp.

Samenvatting A questionnaire was sent to more than 500 elderly (65 years or older) members of the Cycling Promotion in Sweden (Cykelfrämjandet) in June 2007. The foremost reason that elderly ride bicycles is to get exercise, which 94% of the respondents state as a reason. Other often stated reasons are: because it is joyful (84%), because it gives freedom (73%), because it is easy (72%) and because it is easy to park (66%). The foremost reason that the elderly leave their bikes at home and use another means of transportation is bad road conditions during the winter, slipperiness (81%), bad snow removal (79%) and snowfall (77%). Temperatures below zero Celsius restrain about half of the elderly from cycling. Also, long distances are a reason that elderly choose not to use a bike. Some leave their bikes at home when the distance in one direction is more than 6-10 kilometers. Two thirds (65%) of the respondents do not like biking if the (one-way) distance is above 15 kilometers. Almost half of the respondents state that their bike usage would increase if there was a possibility to bring the bike onto busses and trains. The most commonly used equipment is lights, which are used by 81% of the respondents. Most common are battery-powered lights followed by traditional dynamo-operated ones where the generator touches the tire. Some respondents have a dynamo in the hub. The second most common equipment is a helmet, which is used by 80% of the elderly. The remaining fifth does not own one. About two thirds of the respondents use a bicycle-bag or basket and reflectors. Contrary, reflective vests are used only by 17% of the respondents, but in rural areas the usage is close to 50%. Rear-view mirrors are used by a few respondents, but are desired by quite many respondents (28%). Winter tires and winter cycles are desired by one fifth of the respondents. However, more than half of the respondents stated that they do not miss any equipment or that they have no opinion. The most common sites or manoeuvres the elderly avoid are roundabouts, left turns and crossing streets without a cycle crossing. Also cycle tracks with moped traffic are avoided by many. The most common reason that the elderly avoid any site or manoeuvre is that they feel insecure. Many choose to walk their bike, when they perceive something dangerous such as drivers of cars that do not stop or take cyclists into consideration and cars and mopeds that are driven too fast. However 41% of the respondents do not avoid any site or manoeuvre. According to the elderly, the biggest safety problems are potholes, slipperiness and bad snow removal; 76, 74 and 70% of the respondents have referred to these factors as safety problems. Major problems are also curb stones and cars going too fast. One third of the respondents state that signage and route information for bicyclists is good and another third that it is neither good nor bad. What the elderly say would increase their biking is linked to what they say is important for increased traffic safety. Increased safety would lead to increased biking among the elderly. Requests dealing with the physical design of roads are especially a demand for more and better cycle tracks. Communication between road users expressed as more and better consideration are also perceived to increase their feeling of security and thereby increase their biking. (Author/publisher) This publication may be accessed by Internet users at: http://www.ictct.org/workshop.php?workshop_nr=26
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