Cycling difficulties of visually impaired people

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
284 Downloads (Pure)


This study aims to provide an overview of visually impaired cyclists’ difficulties with independent cycling in the Netherlands. Normally sighted cyclists (n = 109) and visually impaired cyclists (n = 197) and former cyclists (n = 22) completed an online questionnaire on potential cycling difficulties related to visual function, bicycle control, and contextual factors. The former cyclists were asked to what extent these difficulties were crucial for them to stop cycling. Overall, the visually impaired cyclists reported having most difficulties with light–dark transitions, crossing intersections without traffic lights, and other traffic participants’ bad visibility. The former cyclists’ determinants to stop cycling were similar to the difficulties reported by those who still cycle. The nature and the origination of the visual function limitations may induce specific difficulties in cycling. However, the ability to cycle does not depend on the visual functions alone, but also on the ability to compensate sufficiently for the visual function limitations. In conclusion, using minimal vision requirements for cycling unnecessarily excludes many visually impaired people from independent cycling. Mobility trainers are recommended to give cycling training and advice based on a practical test of the client’s individual ability to compensate for the visual limitations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-139
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Journal of Visual Impairment
Issue number2
Early online date20-Feb-2019
Publication statusPublished - May-2019


  • Biking
  • Cycling
  • Low Vision
  • Vision rehabilitation
  • visual function impairment

Cite this