Training young cyclists to cope with dynamic traffic situations

Accid Anal Prev. 1994 Apr;26(2):223-30. doi: 10.1016/0001-4575(94)90092-2.


Two training methods were developed to teach young cyclists (8/9 years) how to behave in priority situations. One method was developed along the lines of the modelling principle. In earlier studies it was shown that this method is effective in teaching crossing strategies to young pedestrians. The other training method was based upon Anderson's Adaptive Control of Thought (ACT) theory, which describes the development of cognitive skills by proceduralisation and composition of behaviour and knowledge elements into automatic behaviour sequences. Two groups of children were trained with one of these methods. A control group did not receive traffic-related training in that period. The effect of the training was assessed by a knowledge test and a behaviour test. The results showed that the partly theoretical ACT approach initially resulted in an increased level of knowledge, which was found to have disappeared after a month. The modelling approach did not affect the level of knowledge. Both approaches had an equally positive effect on simple behavioural strategies, such as signalling and visual search behaviour. Correct application of priority rules appeared to be very difficult to teach. There was no effect of the two training methods. It seemed that children apply informal rules rather than formal rules when dealing with other traffic. It is hypothesized that these informal rules should form the starting point for training activities, because formal rules do not fit into children's cognitive framework of schemes, and therefore cannot be stored and retrieved effectively.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control*
  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Bicycling / injuries*
  • Bicycling / psychology*
  • Child
  • Cognition
  • Decision Making
  • Educational Measurement
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Humans
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Psychological Theory
  • Psychology, Educational
  • Safety*
  • Teaching / methods*
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control