Do you use your mobile phone while cycling? graph of japanese statisticsjapan, recently reported on a survey by goo Research into mobile phones in daily life, concentrating in the article on the use of mobile phones when walking and cycling.


Between the 14th and 17th of March 2013 1,071 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 52.8% of the sample were male, 16.8% in their teens, 18.4% in their twenties, 21.3% in their thirties, 16.4% in their forties, 15.4% in their fifties, and 11.7% aged sixty or older.

This is a quite timely survey, as just a couple of days ago there was the news that a 10-year-old boy fell off a Tokyo station platform while using his mobile phone.

Research results

First of all, the sample were asked if they currently had a mobile phone (including smartphone), to which 78.6% said yes. Note that this question as expressed in the article is a bit to decipher; ownership figures for mobile phones are usually around 90%, and since given the wording and the demographics this survey was most likely conducted via their normal PC-targetted method, 78.6% answering the question on their mobile phone seems too high to me. Perhaps the question was closer to “do you usually (or “always”) carry your mobile phone when you go out?” Anyway, these 842 people who said yes to whatever question was asked were then asked the following.

Q1: Do you use your mobile phone while walking? (Sample size=842)

Often use (to SQ1) 23.8%
Sometimes use (to SQ1) 56.3%
Never use 20.0%

When these users were asked what they use while walking, 70.2% (of 674) said voice calls, 57.0% checked their mail, 42.0% viewed maps, 24.0% checked Twitter or other SNS, and do on.

Q1SQ1: Have you ever bumped into anyone while using your mobile phone while walking? (Sample size=674)

Yes (to SQ2) 8.3%
No 91.7%

Q1SQ2: About how many people have you bumped into? (Sample size=56)

One or two people 64.3%
Three to nine people 28.6%
Ten or more people 7.1%

Q2: Do you use your mobile phone while cycling? (Sample size=842)

Often use (to SQ1) 1.2%
Sometimes use (to SQ1) 12.8%
Never use 50.8%
Don’t ride a bicycle 35.2%

Note that it is illegal to use a mobile phone while riding a bicycle.

Q2SQ1: Have you ever had an accident while using your mobile phone while cycling? (Sample size=118)

Yes 7.6%
No 92.4%

1 Comment

Steven · May 30, 2013 at 10:33

Where I live cars are the main form of transportation. Like the rest of Japan, we have a big elderly population. So the younger drivers are inattentive because of their smart phone use and the elderly are slower to react and tend to turn out onto streets (seriously cutting people off) when they shouldn’t. That’s a dangerous combination! I see the aftermath of about one accident a week on my short commute to work (about 10 minutes). There’s typically an older driver and a very young driver at the scene of the accident! Unfortunately, there isn’t a big enough population to justify that many accidents.

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