Safe and joyful cycling for senior citizens

Lars Leden

Research output: Book/ReportReport


Demographic changes show that the absolute number and portion of the population in Europe that can be categorized as older or very old will continue to grow over the next several years. One aim should be to keep them active and healthy for as long a time as possible. Exercise, for example cycling, plays an important role in this context but data shows that the elderly bicyclists are overrepresented in crashes when compared with their exposure to traffic. Senior cyclists' needs and preferences should be a base for developing a safe and joyful cycling environment. A special focus is how to use Intelligent Transport Systems, ITS, to increase safety and quality. This project uses literature reviews, in-depth crash data analysis, questionnaires with senior cyclists, questionnaires with experts, and an expert workshop to identify potential ITS applications for improving elderly bicycling. The last tool (the expert workshop) included two group discussions structured according to two philosophically different models: The Diamond model and The Multiple comfort model. All tools tested here seem to work well together for developing ideas for countermeasures that ensure safe and joyful cycling for senior citizens. With one exception, all aspects mentioned in the expert questionnaire were taken up in group discussions in the expert workshop. Probably, Intelligent Speed Adaptation on cars is the most efficient measure to provide safe cycling, but other ITS measures are also needed to provide safe and joyful cycling for senior citizens and raise the profile of cycling as such. ITS measures could be linked to, or built into, existing equipment such as navigation systems, cycle computers, and traffic signal control boxes. ITS measures could also increase the comfort for elderly cyclists, e.g. automatic locking and opening of bicycles at a distance by using the key as for cars with remote-controlled locks
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages79
ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-7151-2
Publication statusPublished - 2008
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Publication series

SeriesVTT Working Papers


  • elderly people
  • activities
  • bicycling
  • safety
  • Intelligent Transport Systems
  • accident prevention
  • navigation systems
  • cycle computers
  • traffic signal control
  • automatic locking


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