Is listening to Music Unsafe While Biking?

It’s safe to say that riding a bicycle with headphones or on a particularly loud boom box or speaker can be potentially dangerous, especially when a car is coming up behind you, however, there is evidence to suggest it can make the ride a more enjoyable experience.

There are certainly differing opinions on the issue of listening to music while riding a bike.

People who oppose it argue that it takes away one the key senses required when performing the activity, which is the ability to hear in the case of upcoming traffic.

However, people who are in favour of it argue that it can take the rider into their own world and thus enable them to enjoy it on a whole new level.

Safety is the main concern of the people who believe that the use of headphones or speakers should be banned on a push bike.

A poll conducted by the BBC in 2014 showed that 90 percent who were asked their opinion on the matter thought that it was unsafe for cyclists to wear earphones as they it felt it could make them unaware of any potential danger and therefore cause road accidents.

There have also been studies carried out by Brunel University that suggested that bike users could be less conscious of their own safety on the road by up to 10 per cent.

With this in mind, it is not surprising that cycling enthusiasts who do chose to use music to accompany themselves are perceived negatively by much of the general public. However, their has been a lot of research conducted that suggests listening to your favourite songs on your bike might not be as dangerous as it is believed to be.

Dr Katrina Jungnickel and Dr Racheal Aldred conducted a study that argued that listening to music can in fact be helpful by creating a sensory strategy and help to cope with riding in a potentially dangerous environment.

This claim was backed up by cyclists in urban environments who said that it made them more aware of their surroundings than other transport users.

It could be compared to the fact that many drivers use the radio or cd’s to make their journey feel more comfortable.

There is obviously also the argument that it can be stimulating for riders specifically doing it for the purpose of exercise.

Costas Karageorghis of Brunel University argues that music can essentially be seen as “legal performance enhancing drug”.

The points given to suggest this include the idea that it can increase your endurance by 15 per cent as well as making you feel less tired and give you a more positive mind-set.

A study in Australia even suggested that cyclists who listen to music hear more than drivers who do not.

So all in all, there is quite a bit of evidence to suggest that listening to music while cycling can be safe as long as the participant is confident and aware of their surroundings.Yes try to avoid use any sound system like headphone or speaker  for avoiding any unexpected accident.Happy cycling !!!