Wearing headphones while cycling is not illegal in most countries, but in a BBC poll last year, 90% of respondents were in favour of banning it, although 16% admitted to having done it themselves.
Cyclists make up 8% of all who died on the roads in the EU.
The number of cyclist fatalities decreased by only 4% between 2010 and 2014, which is much lower than the total fatality decrease (18%). There were significant differences between EU Member States. The share of cyclist deaths is especially high in the Netherlands (25%), as well as in Denmark and Hungary (16%). The differences, of course, mirror the popularity of cycling in different EU Member States but also such issues as the safety of bike paths, the safety awareness of cyclists themselves (e.g. helmet use) and the awareness among drivers of the safety of surrounding cyclists.
One problem is the motorists – who think nothing of blaring music in their own vehicles, when they’re not using their mobile phones or eating their breakfast behind the wheel – and pedestrians wearing headphones, who regularly step out in front of cyclists.
But help is at hand, or rather ear: thanks to a new headphone concept aimed specifically at cyclists. Called Safe & Sound, it delivers music not to your ears, but to your cheekbones, which transmit the vibrations straight to your inner ear, leaving the outer ear free to hear traffic. The Safe & Sound attaches to the helmet strap, so you don’t get tangled up.
Hands-free to smart phones
And if you just need to be capable to call there is COROS Linx Smart Helmet, that has not just the ability to play music, take phone calls, and even give navigation instructions – but it does so using technology that makes it relatively safe to use.